Saturday, January 05, 2013


The other day at the post office, I noticed a man in line ahead of me holding a veteran's ID card and a notification to pick up a missed delivery. I hoped it was something fun, maybe a late Christmas present.

As I watched my clerk stamp and meter my packages, I heard the clerk at the next counter ask a co-worker what he needed to do to release undeliverable certified mail. I glanced over and saw him holding the missed delivery the veteran was there to collect. An envelope with an address handwritten in big loopy letters.

"Oh," the man said softly. "That's what she thought it might be."

No late Christmas present. Just a dead end. Maybe one of many. Who were they trying to find? A long lost sibling? An old friend? Maybe a grown child?

So many people. So many stories. So many ways they might go.

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