The mailman for our building – a man whom I often run down to say hello so I can hear his complaints (he has a very particular style of complaining that makes me really happy) – well, he was on the other side of our block dutifully* delivering mail, when he saw that someone from another shift had delivered our package to the building across the street.
He was so annoyed, sooooo** annoyed, that he took the package, walked around the block, into our building, up four flights of stairs, to hand me the package and correct this heinous blunder by some unnerving fool, even though he still has to come back later to deliver the rest of our mail. “It SAYS the address on there, IT SAYS IT ON THERE! 123, not 132!” he exclaimed in exasperated frustration.
While staring at his face, I had about a million flashbacks to every time I’ve experienced this emotion or observed it in others. It was the best: like staring into the universe of a very particular emotion as it recedes into the past, connected to every emotion that came before it and will come after it, every eye roll, every grunt or sigh, every desire to flip over a table, every “I just can’t” that has existed in all of the languages of human expression. Exhilarating.
*Why hasn’t this word been shortened to ‘dutily’?
**Oh the frustration of writing an assignment for school or work and not being able to convey how much you mean something by adding extra letters because it’s not ‘proper English’. This is why the majority of the populace cares not for grammar, and neither shall I.