I ring the doorbell and wait for the door to open. A woman opens the door and her eyes dance with anticipation at the sight of the letter addressed to her.
Such little moments make my day.
As the door shuts on my face, I make my way down the stairs of the house. I wince as I discover a pain in my joints. After all, winter shows no mercy to people withered by age.
I tug at my torn sweater and adjust my monkey cap. Then, I ride my bicycle as fast as my joints allow me to, and look for the house whose address has been mentioned in my next letter.
At the end of the day, I go to the only internet booth in our village.
The guy behind the counter ushers me to my seat and helps me open my email.
With trembling hands, I hit one key at a time. Slowly, I type out a letter; typing and erasing and hitting the keys with such concentration that sweat beads form on my forehead.
Then I call out to the guy to help me send the mail. Then, I pay him and leave.
That’s where my routine for the day ends and a feeling engulfs me.
I know this feeling all too well.
It’s the happy feeling of distributing letters the next day, and bringing smiles on the faces writ with anticipation, merged with the sad feeling of being the one who anticipates a single reply from his only son who lives in a different country.
The transformation from a man who spreads hope in the morning to a man who becomes an epitome of hopelessness in the evening creeps in so discreetly that by the time I realise it, I’ve already become a different person.
And as I ride my bicycle back to my home, the evening witnesses a familiar camaraderie between a postman and his solitude.