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?

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