Yesterday as I was getting in my car to run some errands, Joe, my mailman, strolled up to my driveway with my mail. I thought I would save him the few steps up to my porch and so walked over to take it from him.
"How you doin, Ms. Holly?" he asked. The first time he addressed me by name, I was a bit surprised; but I soon realized of course he knows my name; he reads it almost every day. He probably also knows, if he cares enough to analyze the magazines I subscribe to, my religious background, my political leanings, my general taste in music.
"I'm fine," I said, taking the envelopes he held. "Thanks. How are you?"
"Doing real good. You have a good day, now."
"You too," I said.
It was, like every interaction I have with Joe, brief and extremely pleasant. He's just so damn good-natured! It never occurred to me to notice the temperament of my postman, until I had a really pissy one: the previous one would huff and puff coming up my stairs like I was a little pig in a brick house he needed to blow down, and he'd thrust the mail through the slot as if enraged that my house was still standing, because that meant he'd have to come back and do the whole thing again the next day. The one time I spoke to him, to ask him if instead of leaving a package on my front porch he might place it on my back porch out of view and the elements, he replied, his entire being slack with resentment, that he'd try to remember to accommodate my special, unusual and extremely inconvenient request.
Not Joe! He's always polite, always grinning. He's also really hot, if you go for tall, well-muscled men with those lean, long legs that look good in bicycle shorts. He's an aging hippy, in his mid-40s, I'd guess, with a full head of dark hair (far less gray than I've got) which he wears gathered in a pony tail hanging to his waist.
Hot though I think he is, I simply am not the kind of person to entertain sexual fantasies about the mailman. Instead what I really respond to is his grinning affability. It arouses in me a benevolent protectiveness. I really want to make his life easier. I know that patches of ice are a serious occupational hazard for postal carriers, and I don't want him to fall, so I keep my walk shoveled and my porch steps swept all winter. I want this guy to stick around and deliver my mail for a long, long time to come.