JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

Hell

I visited hell this morning. It’s pictured above, and it reeks of rotting skin and moldy feces and all the horrible, nightmarish, miserable things that Satan surrounds himself with.

It is my local post office.

I’m not really kidding. My local post office is like a visit to the morgue—you enter, and are immeditely overcome by a desperate need to exit. The lines are always long. The supplies are always limited. When you want a special sort of stamp, they always seem to have a choice of two: Images of some 17th centrury poet or the Smurfs. Worst of all is the woman—the woman who tortures my dreams. I won’t use her name here—we’ll just call her Hagatha the Evil Wench from Fucking Hell. Trust me, it’s accurate.

Hagatha the Evil Wench from Fucking Hell hates her job. She also hates human beings. Which makes for an interesting combination. Hagatha the Evil Wench from Fucking Hell will yell and snap at you for anything. Absolutely anything. Not knowing the price of stamps. Not writing a return address on your letter. Not using strong enough tape. She has bleached blonde hair and a pitbull’s snarl, and were we to meet in an alley I’d cower in fear. She makes a visit to the post office as pleasant as a visit to a Shell station bathroom. I used to find some humor in the way she treated unsuspecting victims: “Excuse me, but does Priority Mail ship to …”

“PRIORITY MAIL DOESN’T SHIP! IT MAILS! READ THE LABEL, LADY!”

Now, however, she makes me want to vomit.

As does the post office itself.

Oh, one other thing. There is no such thing as a quick visit to the post office. You walk in, there’s always a line. A looooooong line. There’s always someone in front of you with 12 packages, or someone who doesn’t understand English and merely wants three stamps, or someone who happens to know Hagatha the Evil Wench from Fucking Hell and wants to talk about the weather. I’ve wasted, oh, seven years of my life inside that building. Maybe eight.

Hell.

Pure hell.