So today I walked into a post office for the first time in many years.
But hold on: it wasn’t as if I just walked into a specific type of government building. It was more like walking head long into an episode of The Twilight Zone.
On the surface, everything looked like life on earth but as I stood there, waiting on line to pick up a certified letter, I had the distinct feeling that I had been transported into another dimension, an eerie reality, that is light years away from the life I know in the real world.
That life, mine, has everything to do with invention, creativity, entrepreneurship, drive, human achievement, results, reinvention. That is what I know. That is what drives America. That is at the core of our national culture. It is why people the world over come here….to be Americans. To start companies. Small ventures. And work with enormous zeal to drive their success.
But in the post office, well, the hands of the clocks are frozen in place. It is always a few seconds to five. A moment from closing. A holding pattern that is a bridge to the next day off.
Sometimes, when I drive around with my golden retriever stretched out in the back seat, I notice that he is happy to stare at the door in front of him. For hours. That there is a world of activity, of people and cars and clouds through the window just above his sight line, seems of no interest to him.
Staring at the door is just fine.
That’s how I felt in the post office. The person who served me was pleasant but did she really know I was there? Did she really care what she was doing? Did she want to improve her performance?
I think not. In the twilight zone, the rules of the real world don’t apply.
Interestingly, the post office is a brick and mortar facility but it is also a metaphor. As a people, a nation, a world, I wonder if most live in the “post office,” staring at the wall, marking time, going through the motions as opposed to sucking the hell out of all the potential life has to offer.
I’m not sure of the answer to any of this but I do know that the two breeds who inhabit this nation, this planet, are as different as night and day. We like to say we are all the same, some smarter or more driven than others, but that’s a politically correct way to express a deeper, stranger truth.
Let me put it this way: I don’t plan on visiting the post office ever again.
You know why.
Just go back to the title of this Blog.
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