"Did you leave a message?"
After he answered no, "How was I supposed to know?"
Both there statements were not entirely yelled at the United States Postal Service employee, but there were no doubt said at a higher than normal volume level - and with more forcefulness that one may bark into a drive-thru speaker.
My heart was racing. This was not so much a factor of my passion, but the fact that I had just bolted from my condo - sprinted down the hallway and leapt down two flights of stairs before wogging* to his box-mobile of government provided transportation. Minutes earlier I had returned from my parents house to discover that mailbox was empty (making it a solid week now) and another silent message on my answering machine. At that point, I did not realize the two were related. I looked out the window and noticed the postal van was still on the block.
*NEW TERN: wogging - when you want to jog, but don't want neighbors to know your running down a postal worker... So it's not quite walking, not quite jogging, but wogging.
(in a tone that can only be described as "politely catching my breath")"Excuse me, do you know who I should talk to about not getting any mail for a week?"
His response directed me to the postmaster, who should be at the post office on Monday, which was in two days time.
"Well? Do you know what happened to my mail?"
I don't remember the exact interchange that ensued... With the exception for the quoted nuggets at the top of this post... But the postman questioned the existence of a label on my mailbox. I told him that there used to be a label, which was true. I had not put my name on the mailbox (having spent the first twenty-seven plus years in suburbia, when only numbers were on the mailboxes outside homes, I didn't feel they were necessary), but did notice that someone had put my last name on a sticker near my mailbox. When it fell off last week, I didn't think it would result at my raised voice on a Saturday afternoon.
According to him, it was in "the rules" that my name be on the mailbox. For some reason I thought I was in a courtroom and wanted proof of these "rules" immediately. He turned off the engine and tried (unsuccessfully) to use the height of the van plus him to gain a down-angle view on me...
He'd been calling up to my unit every day this week before taking the mail back into his van. I sensed an angry annoyance at the couple vacant units in my building still receiving mail. Instead of taking his stories as sympathy, and worse not interpreting the silent phone messages as cries for help - I grew a tad angry and assaulted him with the line of questioned cited earlier.
Finally I just asked him if I can have my mail. And after he asked for my identification I had what was really important to me: two red envelopes from Net Flix.
Was this tirade worth it? For me to be able to watch Ryan Gosling balance a drug addiction with the lives of inner city youths this weekend? You're godamned right it was.