My NaNoWriMo work, Silvern Voices, is going well–as well as it can be for someone with the attention span of a gnat. I’m easily distracted, and today the horror at the Constellation has been replaced by the Mystery in the Mailbox.
Moving meant we replaced a daily trek to a suburban community superbox with the quickly vanishing postal home delivery. There’s something delightfully old-fashioned about peering down the lane and seeing the little red flag jauntily promising something within. It’s part of our afternoon routine, the dogs and I stroll out to the mailbox before our walk.
Of course, in this digital age, there’s usually not anything of consequence: flyers, a couple of bills, a card maybe, and those magical days when a royalty cheque arrives.
So when I checked it out yesterday, I wasn’t expecting anything other than the usual. That’s not what I found, though. First off, it was earlier in the day than the usual mail delivery, and I was on my way out without the dogs when I noticed the flag up. I stopped the car to check.
What was this? You know how a bunch of random thoughts flit through your mind when faced with an odd situation? I wondered of it was an unwrapped sample, or if the neighbour dropped something off, or if it belonged to my husband and he’d forgotten to mention it.
Then the smell hit–the stench of urine. I took my hand off the material, quickly. Well, that wasn’t good.
We contacted the authorities (for various reasons, it was important that this not be necessarily seen as a bad practical joke); pictures and statements were taken and reports filed.
The young officer told me it was a pair of men’s pants and a dress shirt, and assured me that there was nothing to worry about, and that it was probably a mentally unstable person or some such. Apparently, being on a secluded dead end road with only two houses, our area is a magnet for drug users. Now, in the four months or so that we’ve lived here, I’ve never seen any activity like this; the occasional empty flask against the fence across the road on a Saturday morning maybe. After the initial shock and creep factor at finding pissy clothes in one’s mailbox wore off, then I started to think about why and what.
Were we targeted personally? No, I don’t think so. Random then. But why? Did someone wet their pants? If so, why the shirt? And did he bring the dirty clothes with him? Or was he wearing them? And if so, what did he wear home? Did he put them in the mailbox for safekeeping, thinking nobody uses a mailbox anyway? Was it someone so drunk or stoned they didn’t know why? Well, the clothes were folded pretty neatly, so he was a tidy offender. Is there some naked drunk guy roaming the woods near our house, wondering where he left his clothes?
What do you think happened?