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.