Greek-American Stories: Waiting for the White Truck

Sometimes, sitting in the living room, I’d see the boxy, white mail truck park just outside my house and wonder what Gary, my mailman, will bring today. From the way I anticipate his visit, you’d think I expected a fancy invitation to Queen Elisabeth’s afternoon tea. Certainly, no check from the lottery – no yet! And, when I do win a few bucks it’s never something to write home about. Any winnings so far are from a scratch-off. But, hey! You never know!

I don’t really have much sitting time. So much needs to be done before dinnertime: cleaning, filling the bird feeders outside, feeding Sissy and Lucy Bella, my two cats – who never fail to remind me they’re famished – often. Then, of course, there’s paying the bills and catering to hubby. I am not always enthusiastic seeing that white truck; not when what does come are a load of advertisements, like the ones for window replacement at great reductions. I don’t know why they insist I need replacements. My windows haven’t disappeared. And, I can still see through them.

Then, there are the stacks of charities that want my bucks, claiming that without my support a car load of animals will be put to death by next month. “So hurry!” Then, there’s those kids in Outer Tanazulla who will starve if I don’t hurry with the cash – “NOW!” And, what about the messages about that woman in Tuscaloosa who needs my kidney or, that my roof will collapse if I don’t call their representative to check it “NOW”, followed by photos of houses that didn’t call their representative and are now living in “tents.”

Notice how all the ads on TV shout, “NOW!”? and are emphasized with a steady drumming in the background. That’s to drum their message into your tired brain. We’re told some organizations are ‘non-profit’. But, I’ve noticed that their volunteers travel all over the world, some have yachts and appear on ‘Wheel of Fortune’.

Besides junk mail, I’d get a bill from the water company with a graph showing that I used more water in 2020. I don’t know how that can be. It’s just me and my husband! Our kids are out and the grandchildren never shower or fill their water bottles here. Watering the lawn isn’t done often with all the rain we’ve had this year. I’m certainly not going to stop taking showers to please their graphs, either! Or, those nice hot baths with lavender bubbles.

But, I do still dream that I get a letter from a publisher who has changed his mind about that book I mailed in and, maybe, I’d receive a letter that describes the exuberance the publisher experienced after reviewing my book. I expect a letter with an advance, suggesting an agent who’d – happily – represent me on any future books. Gee! I’ve got a trunk full.

Yesterday, I received a grocery circular listing how much cheaper and fresher their vegetables and fruit are in comparison to the more popular super markets. I decided to try the place. That place was so far away and parking was inadequate, so I left. I’d have to fill the car with gas after a few trips, and the vegetables and fruit wouldn’t be fresh anymore.

Wait! There’s Gary with a new pile of mail that he just stuffed into my mail box minutes ago. Let me go look.

There was one letter with a very impressive return address. It wasn’t for me. It belongs to a neighbor a few blocks down. Should I walk down and place it in their mail box? Or, should I take it to the post office? Or, should I just leave it where it is and let Gary figure it out? It’s so cozy here in my living room. It’s cold outside and I have a very good mystery I’m reading. Hey! Gary just came back. He forgot to leave a magazine I subscribe to. Ooooh! Oh! It’s got so many recipes for Thanksgiving. That casserole looks scrumptious. Well, Gary has left our neighborhood. Junk mail or no mail, next month, “neither snow nor rain, nor heat nor gloom of night will stay these couriers from delivering the mail’ or deter my gratitude when I send my annual Christmas card for our dear mailman, Gary.


Dear Stavroula, I have been divorced for 24 years.

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