Saturday, August 29, 2009

In Which Jazz Gets the Mail

I've always hated the Post Office. Not just because they are part of a an outmoded system which stretches back past the Pony Express to wandering tinsmiths who took missives scratched out with quills from people who never knew if their message would ever reach the intended recipient, up through a time when ARPANET would spell out a death they never accepted. No. And it's not that they don't provide a valuable service. It still amazes me that you can stick a four bit piece of pre-glued paper on an envelope and have someone take it across the country in a few days. It's none of that. It's just the crappy, horrid, world ending things which the postman delivers to you every once in a while, with or without ringing twice.

Obviously not all the news is like this. You certainly enjoy the occasional birthday card from gram gram with a twenty slipped inside. You like it when your next DVD arrives from Netflix. But most of the movies are mediocre at best. And I guarantee you can't recite any of the Americanized Hallmark haiku from any of your grandmother's cards. These are not the ones that lodge in your brain.

What you remember is the day your draft card arrived. More to the point, the letter saying that your number had come up and you were to report for duty. Your mom certainly remembers that letter which began, "We regret to inform you.."

The postman arrived at my place today with a letter. It wasn't from the military or the attorney of some scorned business partner. It was from the AARP and it had my membership card. There's a smack in the kisser for you. The major problem with this is that I immediately thought of my wife. She's married to an old guy.

It's not like I totally robbed the cradle. I was married to her a bit later in life than the old Romeo and Juliet story. But the fact remains that - given the genes in her family - she still has a great likelihood of a full half of her life or more in front of her. Her old man is... well... an old man. I normally don't think of it much. I try my best to be youthful and energetic. I try to service her in the boudoir at a satisfactory level. But that's the point, which this poison pen missive brought home. There are times when I try. Young men don't try. They just do. It doesn't require any thought.

And then, one day, the mail comes. And you're old. I really hate the mail.

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