So I delivered a section of someone else's route today. It rained, in case you were unaware of it, one Hell of a lot in Massachusetts this morning. Something like 5 inches of rain fell in about in about 2 hours. The mail on the big trucks was delayed due to washed out roads and flooding, and some of our people couldn't make it in to work this morning, so pretty much everyone that showed up was helping out. I took a section on my friend J.D.'s route.
It was raining on and off all day, so nothing out there was dry. Nothing. So I was pretty much standing in a puddle when I was on the narrow back porch attached to an apartment building, puzzling out the names on the boxes and figuring out who was where. I was still standing in that puddle when the door to my left opened and a woman came out.
Big bleach blonde hair. Makeup applied with something like a trowel, but there was the possibility that what was on her face actually was Spackle. Definitely older than me but dressed like a High-Schooler, she stepped through the door in knee-high rubber boots, a short skirt with spandex pants under it (a look I will never understand) and a short, useless little rain jacket. As the door closed behind her she took one last long drag on her cigarette, one massively mascaraed eye squinting shut as some last squibs of smoke wreathed her face. She gave it a Danny Zuko flick, sending it flying out into the yard. It was a move well worthy of the movie “Grease”, and I have to admit I had chills. They were multiplying, but it didn't have the same feel as the song.
The aging Pink Lady wannabe looked at me, since I was blocking her path along the narrow porch, and I, being a gentleman, stepped back and motioned her through. Without hesitation, or even acknowledging my manners, she started forward. Three things happened in rapid succession.
First, my backside came in contact with the wet wrought iron railing behind me, the ice-cold water there instantly soaking through my summer weight shorts and giving me a double-cheek-chill, causing me to gasp and almost start forward.
Almost simultaneously, Greased Lightning's rubber-shod foot landed squarely in the puddle I had just backed out of, splashing the aforementioned icy water up my legs to the thighs. This caused my gasp to deepen, becoming the kind of inhale your doctor is always asking for when they pick up the stethoscope (also ice cold, but that's another story): a good, deep breath.
Right on the heels of all this, just as my inhale was starting in earnest, Splashy the Fashion Don't said “Thanks,” in a rough, rumbling smoker's voice, expelling that long last drag directly into my face. Honestly, except for the fact that she never actually made contact with me it was like CPR in Hell.
The used smoke slammed into my lungs like a sledgehammer on fire, causing me to choke and cough as I bounced my wet and freezing tail off the railing, stumbling and almost falling in the puddle I was already wearing. By the time I had gotten my diaphragm under control and the coughing was down to a minimum, I looked in the direction she had gone, but she was nowhere to be seen.
“You're welcome,” I croaked, in the voice of a junior high kid who just tried his first cigarette and has been reduced to being happy he didn't throw up in front of the cool kids.
What a woman!
Talk to you later!