"THE POST OFFICE" - JOEL'S INTRODUCTION


The Post Office had not seen better days.

The green frame that surrounded it’s cracked yellow window had peeled to the point that only a few chips of green wood still clung on. The flower beds that hung from the window had long since dried out. The stained white plastic containers which at no time been home to tended petunias, had themselves become just another receptacle for cigarette butts and stale cracked soil.

From inside, the large front window of The Post Office was obscured by a faded beige curtain that depicted a thin strip of cartoon silhouettes. The silhouettes were of cowboys on horseback chasing Indians in repeating succession from its one end to its equally ragged other. One might ask themselves who was chasing who, because the silhouettes started with a Cowboy and ended with an identical Cowboy on the other end. Perhaps the Cowboys and Indians were finally working together. The walls inside The Post Office were of a similar shade to the wooden framing on the outside. They had somehow managed to retain a semblance of their once green past, but gave no indication that the colour chosen had ever been a point of pride with any owner. The light inside came from the solitary mounted ceiling fan. The blades of the fan had been removed but the metal brackets that had once held the wooden blades still spun in their absence whenever the light was switched on. The faux-wood laminate countertop stretched from one wall to the other. A small passageway allowed for an employee to lift a piece of the countertop which had been fastened to hinges and allow entry behind the counter. The piece of countertop had long since been removed but the hinges remained and still caught on a loose sleeve now and again.

The Post Office hadn’t actually been used as a Post Office since 1973 when Emmetsburg had decided to outsource all mail delivery duties to an updated facility several miles out of town. Not surprisingly, there was not much outrage on behalf of the residents who took any excuse to leave Emmetsburg, even for a few minutes; as a blessing  

Despite The Post Office not being sanctified as an officially registered franchise of The United States Postal Service, it’s sign had never been removed, even when my parents had decided that it would make a fitting home to raise a child in.