Living Hell - Volume #1, Issue #7


August 12, 2001


  o The Aural Sex
  o Going Postal
  o August Sucks

The Aural Sex

Essay and added addendum located here.

Going Postal

I spend a lot of time waiting in line at the post office.  See, I
sell stuff online-- toys at auction sites, used books used-book
sites, etc.-- so I'm always shippin' somethin' somewhere.  And
sinceI have a "day job," mail runs are made during lunch, during
the week.  Or, more often on Saturday mornings, when I'm racing to
make the mere *two-hour* window that the friendly neighborhood "PO"
is open.  And where, upon arrival, Yours Lagging invariably finds
himself five-, ten-, or fifteen-people deep with similarly situated

Like public transportation-- at least in those cities that *have*
it-- or, I suppose, natural disasters, the post office is one of
life's great equalizers.  Prince or pauper, Congressman or intern,
everyone both (a.) puts on their clown pants one leg at a time and
(b.) has to wait in line to mail letters.  (Home-computer printed
postage, corporate mail services, etc., excepted, of course.)  Ex-
pectedly, what results on Saturday is an interesting, sometimes ex-
citing, and always unpredictable elbow-rub with the Great Unwashed.
(Or on those days when a certain someone hasn't washed their [hind-
quarters], the Great, *Fellow* Unwashed.)

And, oh, what a glorious, over-powering sensory experience it is!
For yours Olfactory Enhanced-- thanks to three, count 'em *three*,
sinus surgeries in my twenties-- the smells sting first.  Body eau
and sweat and little kiddie "diaper stink."  (The adult equivalent
of the latter shall go unnamed.)  Older women wearing "old lady"
perfume; gents wearing a brick-wall's worth of cologne.  "Cigarette
stink" is less common, thank goodness.  And, maybe one in twenty
wafts of old, moldy, moth-protected clothing.  (Those "hair treat-
ments" reek the worst-est.  Shampoo is less room-filling, unless
you're standing directly next to a person of "bigger-haired" per-

Other sensory assaults include sound, notably the ever-present, al-
ways-varied Southern Drawl, and, of course, sight.  Or, shall we
say, "sights."  As my side of town is *everybody's* side of town,
postal visits are the quintessential multi-class, multi-ethnic,
multi-generational experience.  Living parades, if you will, with
every conceivable manner of shirt, shorts, hair style, skin color,
body type, facial completion, speech impediment or physical infir-
mary, sports bra, work shirt, tank top, ball cap, demanding demean-
or, change counting speed, belly-enhancing body suit, parenting a-
bility or lack thereof, items idly chewed in mouth (digestible or
otherwise), and utter clueless-ness with regard to packing tape.
'Tis a grand-but-brief tour of the human universe.  (Or at least a
wee corner of it.)  And maybe a tour we should take more often, to
remind ourselves both of who we *are* and who we are *not*.

'Cause, man, are people ever funny *and* different.

August Sucks

The entire month.

Says me.

Copyright 2001 by Michael J. Legeros


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