the post office at the grocery store gets a lot of traffic, even on weekdays. since school isn't out, i am the youngest person here.
I stand up straighter, push back my bangs. Try to look like I belong here. Hope no one asks me why I'm not in school.
Short people just naturally get taken for littler than they are. I remember one July picnic when a little boy asked me how old I was (14). I asked him how old I looked. He squinched his eyes up at me, thought hard, and said, "eleven?" my sister nearly died laughing.
I don't ask people to guess my age anymore.
The lady at the register looks toward us and I bring my envelopes over, sliding them across the counter like I've done it a million times. "How much will it cost me to send these to Switzerland?"
She says "2.20" without having to think. post office ladies are cool like that.
I ask how long it'll take and she says a week. I ask if there are any ways to get it there faster.
The lady lifts her eyebrows. "well, there's a couple options. we can send it one way and that costs 33 dollars, or you can take the other option but that's 44.25."
with as much dignity as I can muster, I say I'll stick with the first option. She takes my money, stamps the envelopes in red, and sticks international stamps on the corners. They're round, with a picture of the earth on them--pretty.
As the lady slides the envelopes away and hands me my change, I think about that stamp. It's so little to be sent halfway around the world. In my head I trace a line across the little blue globe--Switzerland is probably only about two inches away.
except that in 60 days I'll be following that envelope, and it won't be any two inches neither.
more than 2000 miles.
and i realize just how little i am, to be sent halfway around the world.