The Mailbox

I had been home a half hour when E asked me if I had picked up the mail from the box downstairs. I bolted upright on the couch. The mail? I had no memory of getting the mail when I passed the mailbox, but how could I have passed the mailbox without getting the mail?!

I am obsessed with mail. In the mail could be (1) an acceptance letter, (2) a rejection letter, or—more likely—(3) a pile of credit-card offers and bills. Every writer must know that feeling upon approaching the mailbox… good news could be in there, metered and stamped and buried at the bottom, just waiting to be torn open. It’s not like me to forget to check the mail.

E wasn’t concerned. He said we could just get the mail tomorrow.

But how could I leave the mail sitting there all night! I know myself: I’d dwell on it while eating dinner, I’d imagine SASEs while watching the movie we rented, I’d long for the mailbox, unable to focus on anything else. At night I’d wake every hour on the hour, itching to sneak down the stairs in my pajamas, I’d see little white envelopes in my dreams.

I couldn’t take it. “I have to go get it,” I said.

“You’re crazy,” he said.

“I know,” I said.

So I got re-dressed, found my keys, and climbed down the four flights of stairs to the mailbox in the lobby to find…

…one envelope containing tax forms.

Ah well. At least now I’ll be able to sleep.

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4 thoughts on “The Mailbox

  1. Mia King January 19, 2007 / 9:19 pm

    I can totally relate! I’ve found that one of the best ways to manage the obsession is to keep busy sending out more queries, press releases, or working on your next manuscript.

    Here’s to happy little white enveloeps in your mailbox …!

  2. Karen Lee Field January 20, 2007 / 4:50 am

    Hehe, have you been spying on me? 😉

    That sounds exactly like something I would do. Next time, it might just be that long awaited for acceptance.

  3. courtney January 20, 2007 / 7:14 am

    I sympathise. A day of missed mail is torture. Pure. Torture.

  4. adammorgansmith January 20, 2007 / 10:41 pm

    Even though I am mostly likely to get bills or pre-approved credit card offers (netflix on a good day) I can’t stand not checking the mail. I get off work at 4:30, the post office closes at 5. I never leave work late, I make sure to get to the post office in time so I can can go “oh, just some stupid credit card offers” and tear them up and throw them out. At least I know that million dollar check isn’t sitting in there waiting for me.

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