Illustration by Bob AulDec. 23 at the Dana Point post office, waiting forever to mail packages in time for Christmas delivery. No. 61 had just been called. You were No. 85, standing patiently next to the door. Me? No. 84 with a seat on the opposite side of the room.
One hour later, No. 78 is called. The person sitting next to me leaves. No. 82 is called. You walk the length of the room and sit next to me. I choke. I want to say how wonderful you are, how your beauty has eased the long wait. No. 83 is called. I want to say how your presence is comforting amid the chaos, your spirit is joy . . . No. 84 is called. I turn to talk but lift my packages instead. I go to the counter. No. 85 is called. I finish quickly and make it to the doorway before you leave. An elderly woman asks me a question. I stop to answer. You walk swiftly by, and my sadness is great that I did not thank you for letting me share in your beauty and spirit.
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