Tatiana Talks

It's War


My Mailbox is Taunting Me.

And not in a How-I-Got-Into-College sort of way. There aren't two men living inside, giving me crazy math problems every time I open it. Crazy math problems I can handle -- give me a graphing calculator and the Pythagorean theorem and there isn’t a velocity problem I can’t solve. But this -- this is just torture.

It started the other day. Now, typically my mailman comes between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. so I try to distract myself in the morning so I don’t go nuts. Sometimes that means running all my errands or obsessively cleaning my house or sitting in the coffee shop working.

Most days, however, it means simply sleeping until 10 a.m. and then watching TV until I hear the front door open and the rattle of the mailboxes being filled.

But on this day, I had gotten up early, ran errands and then went to the coffee shop. I opened my front door, casually turned to my mailbox, opened it and spied a thick envelop sitting all by itself.

“Oh, would you look at that. A thick envelop. That has to be good news.” My mailbox cooed.

I smiled, gingerly lifted the envelop and turned it over. Would today really be the day I got to send a mass text message to my friends and family letting them know my suffering was over.

Nope. It was from the IRS. For the record, a thick envelop from the IRS is never good news.

My mailbox laughed.

I scowled.

The next day was one of those days that I just stayed in bed -- which is understandable considering the events of the day before and all the alcohol I drank the previous night. I heard the call of the mailbox from my bedroom which was the only reason I got out of bed.

Two magazines -- InStyle and Women’s Health. As I was shutting the door my mailbox cackled, “I dog-eared that ‘Lose Belly Fat Now” article for you.” Later, when I finally had the energy to page through the magazines, I found an envelop tucked into the spine of my InStyle. Of course the back was facing me giving me hope that I was about to learn my fate from another school, but no, it was just a bill. I shook my fist in the general direction of my mailbox. After all, who else could be responsible for this.

The next day brought more bills.

The following day, as I put my key into my box, it smiled. “There’s an envelop in here from Cornell.”

As I whipped it open, it laughed, “Oh, but it’s a thin one.”

I slammed him shut and ran back into my apartment. There is no way I would let my mailbox see me cry.

Yesterday, I had been running errands all morning and was feeling pretty good about myself in general as I approached my nemesis.

“I’m pretty full, today,” it mocked.

I opened the door and started flipping through all the items. No letters from any schools, but a bunch of catalogs.

“Nothing good?”

I glared up at it.

“What about the J.Crew catalog? You love J.Crew.”

I closed the door.

“Oh, right. You don’t have a job, so you can’t buy anything.” It laughed.

I started to walk away.

“And you have a tax bill,” it laughed harder.

“Well then you don’t want to look at the last page of the Macy’s Super Shoe Spectacular circular.” It was laughing so hard tears were coming down the front of it. I could still hear it laughing at me in my kitchen where I threw the catalogs into the recycling bin.

Yesterday, however, it went too far.

I was sitting at my computer in the kitchen (my makeshift office since it started raining in my real office the other day and I haven’t moved everything back in place yet) when I heard the unmistakable sounds of the mailman. I waited my requisite 15 second after listening to the front door close, got up, grabbed my keys and went to face off with the evil in the vestibule.

“Oh, hey, Tati. How are you?”

“I’m good, Mailbox. Yourself?”

“Can’t complain.”

I should have known something was afoot. I opened it and it was completely empty. My face fell.

“What’s the matter?”

I bit my lip.

“Oh, were you expecting the new W with Jen and Gerry? I know. I was disappointed too when it didn’t show up today.”

I looked up at the mailbox.

“Oh. Oh. You were expecting a check.”

I swallowed hard. “Ne. Well, yes, but that’s not it.”

“Right. You still haven’t heard from all those schools yet. Well, maybe tomorrow.”

I narrowed my eyes, closed the door and walked back to my computer.

Half an hour later the front door opened again, the mailbox jostled again and then the front door opened and closed -- again.

I stood up and walked to the front door. “Mailbox? Who was that?”

“The mailman.”

I could almost hear the laughter in its voice.

“Then who was that earlier?”

“Your neighbor.”

I let out a deep breath, grabbed my keys and stomped to the foyer. Great, I thought, my mailbox recruited Mutt and Jeff (my downstairs neighbors) to assist in its terror plot. I swung the door open and saw a lonely piece of paperboard.

“Oh, what, another piece junk mail? I’m so sorry.” It said in a completely insincere tone.

I turned the announcement over. “No, actually,” I looked up. “It’s a coupon from For Eyes.” I showed my mailbox the notice. “35 percent off contacts. This rocks. Thanks, Mailbox.” I grinned and closed the door.

I could see steam coming out from its top.

A small victory, mind you, but right now I will take whatever I can get.