It was over.
I had found that Il Postino was married. To some chick who wasn’t me.
I tried to make myself feel better by telling myself she was probably hideously ugly, but the thought never comforted me.
Over the years I had come to know Il Postino through my post office visits, I had become quite fond of him…not just in the “oh-my-gawwwwwwds-you-are-my-soul mate” kind of way, but in the way one grows to love and respect another human being, their thoughts and feelings. In the same way one would care for (or should care for) their very best friends.
I believe the word I am looking for is “cherish.”
I had grown to cherish Il Postino.
The truth of the matter was; I cared enough about this gentleman to actually hope the best for him. I hoped his wife was pretty and nice. I hoped they had a good, loving relationship. I genuinely wanted happiness for him.
So, I gave myself three days to experience profound sadness (for something that never really was) and then, my old friend anger stepped in and, thankfully, took over.
I became so very, very pissed at Il Postino.
How dare he be married (without consulting me first)!!!
I avoided the post office nearest my work like the plague. Instead, I walked the one block from my apartment to my nearest post office. There, I wasn’t greeted by a handsome devil, but instead, a gruff female postal worker who tended to remind me of someone’s elderly, failing, long-haired Chihuahua. She had a milky blue-ish, ‘floating eye’–the kind that sort of drifts away to the side and may or may not be functional…the eye that you don’t know if you should look directly AT because it may steal your soul. She made me feel very awkward and uncomfortable, but…when one is avoiding a married postman, one cannot be choosy.
There was one day when I had to go to his post office. I was feeling like a royal bitch that day, work was horrible torture and the only way I could escape to catch my breath (and pee, and maybe have a sip of water) was to go to the bank and on to the post office. I took the opportunity.
The air in the post office was positively stifling. The air conditioning was not working and neither were their computers. There was a sign stating “cash only,” no doubt thanks to the computers shitting the bed. I quickly ran back to the bank to get some cash and returned to the post office. I didn’t see Il Postino, but instead I saw my favorite salty postal clerk, Bill.
I would have guessed Bill to be in his late 50’s/early 60’s. His white hair mostly slicked back, a few pieces trying to run astray in the heat of the building that day. I refer to him as salty, because he was (and still is) sort of infamous for hollering or saying funny things at some of the post office patrons.
Quips like: “What are you, a boy or a girl?,” “YO, LADY!,” and “Put the baby down!” His delivery of such quips reminded me a bit of Rodney Dangerfield and always made me snicker or smile. Near the end of my transaction with Bill, Il Postino walked up from the back of the post office.
“YOU!!! I haven’t seen you in a while! I thought maybe you had quit your job or something!,” exclaimed Il Postino.
I took a moment to regard him and then I said as coldly as I could, “Nope. I couldn’t get that lucky.”
We made a very tiny bit of chit-chat and I left.
I wanted so badly to hate him and be angry at him, but I just couldn’t.
One night in the weeks following my dreadful discovery, I dreamed of Il Postino.
In the dream, he and I were together. In my apartment. In my bed. Though we were both clothed, I remember the very tangible feeling of longing and desire. It felt SO real. I moved in close to kiss him and he pulled away. He said to me: “I am a married man.” I felt dejected and embarrassed. But, I understood the message: Back off. Respect the space and decisions of others.
Thank you, brain. Thank you, universe. Who needs a moral compass when you’ve got wretched, horrible guilt? Ha.
When I awoke the next morning, I felt somewhat renewed. I thought to myself: Ya know? So what if he’s married? I dig him as a person. And for a girl who doesn’t like the majority of human beings, that’s a HUGE thing for me to say. I truly believe that every single person you know, good or bad, enters your life for a reason. Maybe he and I were meant to be friends, I thought. Maybe I am supposed to learn something from him or learn something about myself through him. The thing with this crazy journey we call life…is that you just never know.
As my attitude softened toward Il Postino, I found it easier to talk to him on the occasions I needed to visit the post office. It’s easier to get to know someone when you aren’t starry-eyed and stupid over them (and sweating profusely out of nervousness). I learned that Il Postino had an actual name (Josh), and that he not only played lead guitar in a (his) band, but he also sang lead vocals. I learned that his band (The Humanoids…are awesome. Check them out on Facebook IMMEDIATELY: https://www.facebook.com/TheHumanoidsBoston ) had been previously disbanded, but had recently gotten back together. Josh even mentioned to me the remote possibility of potentially hiring me to make rings for the members of his band, to which I happily agreed.
Instead of being pissy about the fact that nothing was working out the way it had in my head, I had chosen to seize the opportunity that was presented to me.
A friendship over a relationship.
If that was all I could get, I would be happy to take it.
And I was.
Which left me time to ponder a new conundrum: One. Hundred. Lovers.
A tale for next time, my friends.