The postman is just doing his duty

I carry a postcard with love in my satchel. It is like Schrodinger’s cat- you don’t know if the love is in the postcard or the satchel unless the letters flutter out like butterflies. Three letters left. The sun rages on. Emotions seem a drag now like a puff of cigarette when you inhale too much sadness that it comes coughing out as tears. I want to go home. The postman is just doing his duty.

The first letter is related to someone’s bank account. We don’t always deliver love letters or letters announcing death. I can recognize it by the gibberish numbers written on it. I ring the bell as I look around the neighbourhood. It is like metamorphosis in reverse- from beautiful to concrete. The small homes turned to towering houses. The park stays empty like someone broke a house’s glass. I try to find the broken glass oblivious of the broken childhood.
The gate opens. A straight face searching for the pen. Signatures taken. Letter delivered. One task done. The postman is just doing his duty.

The second letter contains divorce papers. I can see the words written clearly. It was the first thing he wanted her to see when she got the letter. Sometimes, we deliver letters announcing death. Of things and some people. I ring the bell as my eyes linger on the beautiful home. It seems like a weathered rock- unable to exist in this harsh climate. I bring the rain to wash the rock away forever. A little girl arrives. Her smile lights up galaxies. She tells me mom is asleep and I wish that she wasn’t. A small wish yet large. She asks me what I need. I mumble the words- justice. Because it is unjust to break a cocoon before it has turned into a butterfly. I turn the letter. She can’t see the words. Ask her to smile for me. Her smile taken. Letter delivered. Two tasks done. The postman is just doing his duty.

The last letter contains unrequited love. I can tell this because I deliver the letters but never receive them back. It is clear because the five pages have now reduced to one. Words replicate feelings. I ring the bell as I see her laughing through the open door. She fiddles with her phone, her smile not ready to leave like a clingy teenage lover. She sees me through the netted partition- a filter to the two worlds. I smile. She rolls her eyes and goes back inside. I wonder if she hates me or the letters I carry. I think it is the latter. She brings back a basket filled with bottled feelings. I drop another bottled letter like a trained servant. I read the cover. It smells of her father. I beg her to reply. She frowns. No signature taken. Letter delivered. Three tasks done. The postman is just doing his duty.

I come back home. A welcome surprise. Children run on the streets like two wheelers rushing for the fastest exit. My wife looks at me with love as she burns her hand cooking chapattis. She laughs. I fall in love like a letter into a post-box. I sit down. My little girl comes steaming in with questions. She asks. I answer. She takes my satchel. She puts a postcard in it laced with love. She thinks I can’t see. I don’t see. She smiles as she returns. The night sees day. I smile back. She takes my signature. One postcard delivered. The postman is just doing his duty.

As long as things go well, you'll just run away from yourself.