Thursday, December 12, 2013

Story 12: Sinister

I was driving to the store on a Sunday when I saw a postal service truck turn down a street.  It didn’t register until I observed again that it was a Sunday when I saw a postal service truck turn down a street.
The whole thing struck me as disproportionately ominous.  There probably was a above-board reason why there was a postal service truck driving around on a day when there is no mail delivery – I just couldn’t think of any.
Mail trucks need gas, too: was it looking for a gas station in a residential area?
Was it making an extra-special delivery that just could not wait another day?
Was one of the employees bringing the truck to another post office?
Did someone steal it?
I decided, against all reason, morals, and mores, to follow that truck, wherever it might lead.  If it led to a warehouse full of drug dealers and dead bodies, at least my curiosity would have been satisfied before I was horribly murdered.
As I stalkerishly drove after it, I thought of other humdrum things that are really disturbing when pondered over longer than the 0.5 seconds they take to cross through my mind.  For instance:
The sound of birds chirping long after the sun has set.  Shouldn’t they be sleeping?  The same applies to the sounds of geese honking as they migrate in the middle of the night.
The sight of children walking the roads during a school day.
Road kill that remains in the same spot for days.
E-mail error messages from accounts where the original message had not been sent.  If it failed to be delivered to those non-intended recipients, where else is this message going?
A phone calling you back to finish the message you had cut yourself off leaving.
When your pets memorize your schedule and know when to wait in the window, then scream at you when you come home late.
Left-handed people suddenly using their right hand for no good reason – ironically, even if only to not be thought of as sinistra.
The list goes on.
We traveled down street after street, with no end in sight.  I hung back a little so as not to make the tail too obvious, so I almost lost the truck when we came to a traffic light.  At that point, another car that had been hovering in our wake tried to get into the same lane where I was: all eight of our tires screeched on braking.
I got out of the car at the same time as the other driver and did a quick scan.  “No damage!”  I hurriedly ducked back in.
The other driver said, “It’s OK, I’m in a hurry, please let me go first and I’ll be out of your way!”
Panic made me blurt out the truth.  “You don’t understand – I’ve been following that truck and I can’t lose it!”
The other driver froze.  “I’ve been following it too, for an hour.  It hasn’t stopped yet.  I have to know –”
“Why is it out on a Sunday?!!” We both had the same thought.  At long last, I had found a kindred spirit.
As I settled back in my car, I said, “You’ve invested more time in this – go after it, and post somewhere online what the answer is!”
He got back into his car and yelled through an open window.  “I will!  I promise!  If I don’t make it, let the world know my story!”  He sped away on bald tires.
“Godspeed!”  I shouted after him.  I never saw him again. 
I drove back to the main road under a metaphorical cloud – I may never know where that truck was going, what it was doing, or why I cared so much when I had grocery shopping to do.
Some time later, I found this message posted online:
           “Just got out of jail for harassment of a postal employee.  Turns out the truck was making Sunday deliveries now that it’s the Christmas/Hanukkah season.  Well played, USPS – well played.”

No comments:

Post a Comment