a sign could have helped
By Inés Kennedy
Waiting outside until they gave me the nod. The two witches behind the glass counter, they scared the shit out of me. I don’t know why, they weren’t particularly frightening. It smelt a bit like an old folks home when you went in there, but I guess it was full of old people, well full as in two of them were there. I imagine they talk about their families, maybe how much they hate their husbands or how their daughter in laws are making their sons fat. I don’t really know nor do I care. They sit behind the glass counter ready to pounce on their prey, it’s as if I should know the rules of the post office even though I’ve only been there a couple of times. Not knowing how much money I exactly owe or the procedure of posting a package frightens the shit out of me. They swivel on their seats and stamp postcards with such a force it could knock a fat man over. I build up the courage and take in a breath, “hi”.
The two witches look up and down again, they inhale as if I’ve asked them to run up the hill with me on their back.
This is fucking awkward I think, should I say hi again?
One of the witches looks up as if I have two heads and I wave the package that I want to post.
Again another exhale, she must really hate this job.
She gets up from her chair, I can see her chair has an imprint of her buttcheeks on it, a rather large indent has been left behind, I would imagine the indent is radiating heat, that was really weird to think. Her chubby fingers claw at the little window while she opens it. Looking at me I feel a pit of sickness in my stomach.
“Eh can you sellotape this for me pl-“
The witch points at the station for sellotaping. It seems like stupid place to put it, there wasn’t even a sign. I can read a sign, a sign would have been helpful, thanks witch. So I go over and begin to sellotape my package.
Wrap wrap wrap oh hmm, there isn’t a scissors. I look around and I still can’t find the scissors. I look at the witches and they look back waiting for me to fail so then they could have an excuse to turn me into a toad.
In my brain the only plausible solution was to bite the sellotape in order to cut it. I did this to a public sellotape roll in the post office during a global pandemic of a deadly virus that was spread by the mouth and nose.
I went back to the witches den a couple weeks later, they now had a sign saying “DO NOT USE YOUR MOUTH TO CUT THE SELLOTAPE”.
I can read a sign, that sign would have been helpful.
Inés Kennedy is a 20-year-old English Literature and Hispanic Studies student at Trinity College Dublin.
'A sign could have helped' is about the Post Office and the weird and wonderful place that it is.