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snow-corsica_1809745i

Yes, it’s another stranger story from the Roselawn Post Office. Same place, different day, different year, different story.

I walk through drifts of snow and a slushy pool of water to the entrance of the post office, and take my place in line behind a man just out of the cusp of teen- hood. As the two of us, bored and fidgety, stare at the glass case of stamps between us and the counter, a sudden click clack of heels pulses past us. It is the sound of shoes on a mission.

The black stilettos belong to a woman in her late twenties with ringlets of long auburn hair and a too- short black skirt. I immediately decide I don’t trust her. Come on, who wears stilettos in the snow?

She approaches the counter without acknowledging us and stands at the ready, holding her five letters. That’s it, I say to myself and blurt out, “There’s a line here.”

“Oh,” she stammers. “I didn’t mean to cut you off, I just need to mail these.”

“Well, you never know,” I said. Too many people cut lines with no thought for others.

A postal clerk took her letters and she left in hurry, averting her eyes from us.

The almost-man teen turned to me and said, “I like your style.”

“Thank you,” I said and added, almost confessionally, “Well, if she had been a big mean man, I don’t think I would have said anything.”

He paused, then said, “I’ve got your back.”

This man I had just met “had my back.” Now it’s not every day that a stranger takes on having your back. This was a moment to bear witness to.

I like his style too, I thought. Suddenly, I imagined us in a Postal Fairy Tale, where the big mean man comes into the post office, tries to pull a fast one on the two of us and we go postal—me calling out the bad guy, the young man punching him out while the rest of the people in the post office cheer and clap in support of our teen hero.

Before the big mean man wakes up, the two of us escape through the back door of the post office and jump onto an awaiting wooden sled with bright red runners. We vanish down the hill at supersonic speed and land with a thud in a large pile of snow that looks good enough to eat, like Reddi-wip. (Of course we land safely, this is a fairy tale.)

We struggle to get up because we’re laughing so hard, astonished at our fantastical escape.

“See, I’ve got your back,” he says, grinning, and gives me a quick hug goodbye.

“I’ve got yours, too,” I say, hugging him back.

In the next scene he’s home and his mother is asking, “How’d did you get so wet?”

“Oh, Mom,” he says, “It’s a long story, but basically, I wiped out in the snow on my way back from the post office.”