I have gotten into the habit of chatting briefly with the postman who drops off the mail at my business. He is a tightly-wound fellow, full of facial tics, and his eyes dart about nervously as well, but he is also quite well-informed on the neighborhood gossip, i.e., who’s moving, which landlord is having trouble leasing, and what businesses will be going into the various nearby construction sites.
He is also a conservative-type Republican. My realization of this was gradual. First of all, I noticed that he is derisive of, and somewhat frightened by, the various older black men who live homeless on the streets around here, even though these guys are in my experience not bad guys or criminals, outside of a little trespassing. In fact, if I were mugged or attacked on the street near my office, I know who I would run to for help, and it wouldn’t be the postman. It would be that sweet but batshit crazy guy who lives with his dog near the water spigot on the building across the street. Sure, it’s a little alarming to see him shadow-boxing his own reflection several times a day, because he’s not shadow-boxing in a “got to stay in shape for my life on the street” kind of way, he’s shadow-boxing in a “someday I’ll beat that no-good son-of-a-bitch fucking bastard reflection of mine” kind of way.
Plus, my postman made questionable remarks about his substitute postman. I had said to him one day that his substitute does not come inside to ask if there’s any outgoing mail, like he does. He asked me what the guy looked like, and I told him. “Oh,” he said, “he’s Filipino.” “Okay,” I said. “You know there’s a lot of Filipinos that work for the post office around here,” he said. I replied “Yeah, I’ve heard that Filipino immigrants have a tradition of civil service in
The postman blinked at me. “Well,” he said, “where I work, there’s only a couple of them. But you know that station over on
I didn’t like where this was going. Unable to will my phone to ring, I got up and excused myself, and he left.
Recently, the postman has begun to make remarks on the presidential race. He actually said “Obama, Osama, or
Today, though, he came in bursting with news. “You know who my union is supporting for president?”
“Edwards?” I said, because I know Edwards has a lot of union support.
“No, Hillary!” he blurted, clearly agitated.
“Is that bad news?”
“Yeah, I thought it might be Giuliani, or who did you say? Edwards? Maybe him.”
“You know Edwards is a Democrat, right?”
“Oh, yeah, okay.”
“He ran with Kerry in 2004.”
“Somehow, I don’t think your union would endorse a Republican.”
I chuckled a little, waiting for him to acknowledge the obviousness of it. He didn’t.
“Because,” I said, “if it were up to the Republicans, you wouldn’t have a union.”
“Huh,” he mumbled, and handed me my mail. He said nothing else but managed a weak smile and a few eye spasms and a small head jerk sideways on his way out the door.
I wonder how long he’ll chew on that.
I wonder if it will occur to him that what can be done to the TSA employees could be done to him. He could be outsourced, just like them.
I wonder if that will occur to him sometime between now and next Election Day?
Nah. Things like that never occur to guys like him. According to guys like him, he deserves his union protections, and his decent pay and his holidays and his pension, but no one else ever does. Let those other poor fuckers fend for themselves, is no doubt the basis for whatever thoughts do enter his head regarding the struggles of the working poor.