Badal Out of Uniform

Badal was walking through our courtyard,
but he wasn’t delivering the mail;
in fact, he wasn’t even wearing his uniform.
I was looking for you, he said.
Do you have my mail?
No, he said, I have never to deliver mail again.
I was shocked but he looked worse off than I felt.
He sat down on a low wall overlooking the carp pond in the back.
I lost my job, he said, but don’t feel sorry for me. It was my own fault.
Why, I said, what could you possibly do?
I spit on a cat.
You did?
I didn’t like the cat. It was following me. A postman reported me.
We both looked off into the distance, beyond the carp pond.

I said, Well, shall we get some coffee?
Sure.

I could see no reason to scold an old man for his mistake.

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LPD Cardboard Governance

The LPD just bought a bunch of cardboard cruisers.
They look just like the real thing except,
they’re made of cardboard and they’re GPS guided.
They glide around Linkyshire, this way and that,
bringing their presence to all,
particularly the main roads,
and people drive better
because no one can tell the difference
between the cardboard cruisers and the real LPD.
I guess its money well-spent.

Surprise in the Mail Room

The mail truck was outside so
I went downstairs to get my mail.
Badal was delivering it.
I greeted him, What a wonderful surprise to see you.
I’m a temp at the mail shop, he said.
Post office.
Of course, he said, How are you?
Doing well.
This job is like being a substitute teacher, he said gaily.
He was quickly stuffing the mail into the slots.
“You know,” he said, “ever since I got this job I was very happy.”
Really?
“Yes, something funny happens every day, like meeting you!”
He handed me my mail and ran off to his truck,
happy as a lark at 80.

I know that meeting me can sometimes be funny.

Postcard from Hokkaido

Hokkaido is the northern island of Japan.
You can probably guess who it is from.
Ruth.
She split up with Paul.
I was sorry to hear that but then
it wasn’t a split-up exactly.
Paul joined a monastery.
She didn’t say where.
John was all ears.
He’s been thinking of joining a monastery too.

Arbo & His Old Dog

Arbo is a gifted kid. He posted this odd piece in the lobby before his mother took it down.

I hate my dog.
He disturbs me.
I don’t like to be disturbed.
He really bothers me.
I’m incringed by him.

Anyway, I was playing my favorite Video game, Hooligan’s Baton.
I made that up.
Anyway, I was playing my favorite Video game, Hooligan’s Baton.
My old dog started pulling on my shoelace.
I patted its head.
Then I washed my hands to get rid of the dog-ness.
I don’t like touching my dog.
He’s so old and grouchy looking.
He stinks too.

Then he was looking at me.
I had to take him out.

I keep the leash on the doorknob.
I took the leash from the doorknob.

I attached the right end of the leash to his collar.
I looped my end around my hand.

We went out and stood under some trees.
I felt dumb.
I hate my dog.

Fall Is Really Here

I know Fall is here because there are no flies in the coffee shop.
I am so happy about that that I had to tell you.
If I were a coffee shop owner I wouldn’t let any flies into my shop.
Maybe someday I will buy a coffee shop.
It would be like my living room.
All the seats would be comfy chairs and sofas.
I would sit there with my customers, reading,
pretending to work,
drifting deeply in thought.
Everyone would dream of drinking their coffee at my coffee shop.

Stop Sign

Mrs. Magellan stops at the same sign every day.
It is by the main road just outside our building.
There is nothing special about the sign or its position,
but she started hating it a couple of weeks ago.
It occurred to her that if she ran it over
she wouldn’t have to stop there anymore.
She held that thought for a while, until today.
I saw the sign was down.
There were some tire treads on either side of it.
I hope she arrived safely at her destination.