the UPS girl
The UPS girl has always been a chimera to me. I see her, dressed in brown, driving her brown tank up and down the mountain highways. I pass her going to her route north to Yancey/Mitchell Counties as I go south to my work in Asheville in the mornings. I retrace my path north coming from work in the afternoons to find the brown Lady of the Parcels rolling down the mountain south. I work at the Post Office and am usually dressed in the USPS blue uniform. For a long time I’ve wondered how I can let her know I acknowledge her existence as a fellow traveler, a union brother, and, I suppose, as a human, seeing more than just her brown armor. But I only have that flash on the highway to send a signal. Sometimes I see her approaching, if there is a rare long stretch of road — she does loom above the Subarus and even the SUV’s that cohabitate the rumpling roadbed. But other times she’s there, in the middle of a curve, without a delivery attempt notice, without a warning beep. Then there’s the actual moment of eye-to-eye, or at least my eye to her picture frame windscreen: dark long hair tied back, smooth forehead, dark eyes focussed on the traffic, straight back, arms that don’t seem long enough to embrace the truck wheel, but more likely coaxes the nose of the truck to go the way she imagines — like a rider imagining the trail ahead and a horse responding to that vision through hips and thighs, rather than bit and hands. My last image of her is a profile, a brown cameo that might go with a soldier into battle, eyes facing front into the future, so focussed, even at day’s end.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009