Okay, I don’t know how many of you actually use the US Mail anymore to send packages. Frankly I don’t care, either. This story is about me, after all. Writers – we’re all self-absorbed. It’s in our DNA.
So as I was saying, today I needed to mail a package to some friends of mine. They are starting their foray into the metaphysical, and being that they live somewhere right outside BFE, TX, there is sadly no metaphysical shop near them. I have heard, however, that there are quite a few cows. But I digress.
I spent the morning traversing my favorite shops, Silver Pyramid and The Labyrinth, enjoying the energy around me and gathering all the necessary items. Well, what I thought were the necessary items. They weren’t here to say one way or the other. And again, this is about me. You think you’d learn.
Packing up these wonderfully decadent little pieces of paraphernalia in a Wal-Mart sack (don’t judge), I marched into the post office in search of a box for my treasure. After locating said box and a horrendously overpriced roll of packing tape, I went to work.
I can’t be sure, but I think I frightened off one old woman, two bearded men, and a teenager as they watched me pack. The old woman and the bearded men I could understand. This is the bible belt, after all. But the teenager? With the piercings and the all-black clothes and the Adam Lambert eyeliner? Really?
So let me paint this picture for you…here is this chick that looks like your average soccer mom, who just arrived in her red minivan (again – don’t judge), carrying a quite normal looking Wal-Mart bag. She then proceeds to remove charcoals, drams of oil, bagged herbs, a sage stick, a journal, and some rocks, which she is lovingly packing so as to avoid breakage.
What about this makes people uncomfortable? Is it that I seem so normal, and then out comes the witchy-looking stuff? Or is it just the stuff itself? Of course, it could have been the tiny little iron cauldron that went in last. The world may never know.
What I do know is that they walked around me whilst I was packing, giving me quite a wide berth and quite a few what-the-hell stares. Between them and my children, I’m beginning to get a complex.
Anyway, I taped up the box and waited patiently behind these people who were most likely thinking about stakes and fire until the underpaid, terribly bored postal worker said that magical word.
Grateful to be almost done with this little adventure, we went through the normal addressing and such until he came to that all-important question.
“Are there any liquids or harmful substances in this package?”
Now, I want to pause here, little readers, and ask what seems like a very stupid question. Has anyone ever answered ‘yes’ to this? Do terrorists regularly look at the postal worker and say, “Aw, man! Yeah, you got me. There’s a bomb in there. Thought I might get away with it this time, but you guys are just too good!” I mean, seriously.
But this honest little author, what does she say? I’ll tell you. I said, in the sweetest, most soccer-mommy voice I could, “Well, there is a dram of oil in there.” Hey, I had no desire to get arrested if they found it and I hadn’t told them. I have a book to finish, people.
Stopping what had been (up until then) a by-the-book transaction, the postal worker looked at me over his little bifocals with much the same expression as his customers had, and replied in his best whatchu-talkin-bout-willis voice.
“A dram of oil.” At this point I’m getting nervous. Can you send oil in the mail?
“What kind of oil?”
Now I’m panicking. Do I tell him? Should I just say motor oil, or fish oil, or olive oil? What if those are ingredients for a bomb? Damn this middle-class upbringing! I decided to be honest.
He looked at me as if a third boob had suddenly popped out of my forehead. No, that’s wrong. That would have been a friendlier look. But you get the idea.
“Protection from what?”
The solemn postal worker asked this as if he were truly interested, but having watched a plethora of true crime shows, I didn’t fall for it. I looked him straight in the eyes, and lied my ass off.
“I have no idea,” I replied, shrugging. “That’s just what it said on the bottle. My friend wanted me to mail it to her. People can be so strange, you know?”
He stared so hard I was pretty sure my face was about to burst into flames, but he either bought it or he was just too bored to care. I’m betting on the latter, truthfully. And then the package was off, without further ado.
So there you have it – my little adventure for today. And if you’re reading this, you know who you are, and the package is on its way, loves. Sorry I had to lie about you, but it was necessary to save my own skin.
Writers can be so self-absorbed.