I really hate Mondays.


Especially Monday mornings.

Mornings are bad enough – same with Mondays – but the two, put together, I can't stand.

Maybe it's because when I was a teenager, I was arrested once on a Monday. Maybe my stepfather was abusive, and would beat me on Mondays. Maybe I had blocked the
memory from my mind.

Or maybe I just hate my job.

Yeah, that's probably it.

You see, I work for the government. At least, that's what I tell people, because it's technically true and it almost sounds interesting. People hear government, and they think of tall, thin men in smart black suits, wearing smart black sunglasses, driving smart black cars, and talking in low tones to each other over ear-mounted radios. I wish I did that.

I do work for the government, though.

You see, I work for the United States Postal Service.

Yeah. I'm a mailman.

Oh, there's some similarities between me and those secret agents. My co-workers die all the time. But they're not assassinated by foreign spies. No, most of my co-workers are retired. This is their part-time job. The employee of the month died last Tuesday. This wasn't anything surprising, or least of all, interesting. She was 87.

I'm almost 34.

Anyways. This morning wasn't particularly bad, in itself. Ever had one of those days where you knew something would go wrong? Ever had one of those days where nothing did? Ever had both of those kinds of days on the same day? That was my morning. I was dressed and ready to go, twenty minutes before I usually was.

That never happens.

I was literally walking around my apartment, glancing suspiciously over my shoulder every few steps. I looked in the closet. I checked the water pressure and water heater. I was so ready for the coffeepot to catch fire again. Or for the neighbor's dog to crash through my front door with the other neighbor's expensive toucan clenched in its mouth again.

True story.

But no, nothing happened this morning. I was completely prepared for the unexpected, and managed be ready for work ahead of schedule. I was a nervous wreck.

I know what you're thinking. Things tend to get to me, okay?

So yeah. I was ready to leave for work. I figured, 'Hey! I can stop by the bookstore for fifteen minutes or so.' I left the apartment building, and had already let my guard down.

I closed the door, realized my mistake, and immediately expected something to happen.

Nothing did.

Feeling almost dejected, I left for work.

It was almost depressing, how bored I was because nothing bad had happened to me.

The book store, it turned out, was closed.