“How’s it goin’?”

“Fine, I think.”

It’s a good day. I’m on my God route, and it shouldn’t be too . . .

Oh crap, there is a double full coverage and I have never seen that many parcels on this route before. It’s a bad day.

Oh wait, I am off tomorrow, so today is a good day.

I am almost loaded and ready to go, and . . . what? You want me to help on another route when I am done? Ugh, it’s a bad day.

No, I am leaving early enough, and I am helping on a route I like that takes me by Ray’s farm and I get paid overtime, so it’s a good day.

Okay, all loaded except this one remaining tray of mail which I just—%$*&^#@—tipped over and spilled onto the parking lot. It. Is. A. Bad. Day.

Well, it fell upside down, but in perfect order in defiance of entropy, so I carefully put it back into the tray. It’s a good day.

I must get gas and that will put me behind a bit, and then I have that section of another route after I am done and it is almost 10:00 a.m. already, and let me see . . . that means I will finish mine, switch to the other, and then get it done by 5:30. Wait, he said the extra section was 45 minutes, but that is not even true. It is actually more like an hour and 15 minutes of mail and parcels, so that puts me close to 6:00 p.m. which is penalty time, so I am going to have to run all day. It is a bad day.

Precisely as I am pulling out of the gas station, at 10:01 a.m., a piece of music begins playing. It is from Norway, and it is perfect music at a perfect time. It is the kind of music I hear often, but about which I never write. It cannot possibly be a bad day.

How, I have no idea, but it is barely after 3 p.m., and I am already going down along the river for my favorite stretch of this route with less than an hour to go, and no parcels left. I am going to make it just fine, and then go help with the extra section. Not a bad day at all.

Bernstein’s Overture to Candide begins on the radio. Candide ends with the contentment of Candide, cultivating a garden with Cunégonde and some friends. It’s getting better.

I am done, and ambling up Monroe (driving, of course, but in a fashion like ambling with wheels), and I pass a certain place.

I could be a monk, even a Franciscan, although I think I’d be a Jesuit probably who actually wanted to be a Franciscan. But, I do not want to live as a monk. At all.

I want to cultivate that garden . . .

“How’s it goin’?”

Not bad. And it is going to get even better . . .


Photograph © 2018 Timothy Waugh

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