The Pieces

In line at the post office, this Mark Zuckerburg-looking guy in front of me starts waving his hand at the one (of course) clerk working the desk during the busiest part of the post office’s day. 

"Can I just get my mail?" he says. "I think that’s it right over there." 

Here we go.

She tells him, politely, that he’ll have to wait until his turn, which at this point is not a long way off. He starts to fidget, rubbing his finger over his knuckles, looking up, looking down, looking up again. In my mind I’m rearing back, waiting for this guy to say something really impetuous, and readying my response. 

The guy in front of Squirmy allows him to go ahead and doesn’t even receive a thank you in return. Now I’m really hot. 

The clerk checks the stack of mail behind her and says it belongs to someone else. She doesn’t know where his mail is.  

"But it’s supposed to be here. I picked up my mail here two days ago."

The clerk shrugs, then has a moment of clarity and asks, “Are you—?”

"Yes," he responds with a sigh. 

And that’s when I realize that this guy’s house probably looks like this:


And now I’m the one fidgeting, biting my lip, looking down, because I realize that what is for me just a single quick errand over lunch is for this guy one of probably a thousand previously simple tasks that in an instant became a huge, complicated nightmare.