Issue 163, Fall 2002
He no longer can depend on the mail because the mailman takes his time. His sweet time, he thinks, which he feels justified in thinking since he’s seen the guy in action. The mailman’s movements are purposeful but slow, and his route is long and includes many sprawling apartment complexes, virtually identical to his complex, except with a different name, a different look—rustic and woodsy or spare and modern—and different color schemes. The mail arrives at one in the afternoon or seven at night, or anytime in between. He never knows when to expect the mail. He is trying, with little success so far, to grow accustomed not to expect it.
The color scheme of his complex is maroon and light gray. The color scheme is thorough and pervasive, cropping up on the signs pointing to the rental office, the furniture filling that office, and the letterhead they use when they write him to explain his rent is past due. The buildings in the complex are light gray with maroon trim. The stop signs consist of light gray letters painted on a maroon octagon, mounted on a maroon post. In what seems (to him) like a bit of a fancy touch for a stop sign, the edge of the maroon octagon is light gray.
The people who work in the rental office wear a maroon knit shirt with khaki pants or, alternatively, a light gray knit shirt with khaki pants. All knit shirts feature the complex’s name and insignia: a stand of thin pine trees, each with a bird’s nest and each with a bird about to land or take off, depending on how one chooses to look at things. Behind those birds and trees is the sun, setting or rising, depending again on one’s perspective. A number of finely stitched squirrels dart about, chattering at each other over the rediscovery of various sewn representations of nuts. Sewn children play among the fallen pine needles, and a sewn golf cart, carrying letters that explain the eviction policy, emerges from the insignia’s right-hand side.