“Blue?” she asked, eying my mailbox.
I looked at her and couldn’t read her at all. “Yeah.”
“Well hell. It looks good enough. I don’t see anything wrong with it. The post office ought to like it and they know everything. If it’s good enough for them then it’s settled. They’re the experts,” she added making it clear with her smile that she didn’t think the post off was expert at anything. “If there’s one thing they oughta know, it’s best color for a mailbox. They’ve got all of theirs painted blue, though it makes no sense to me. Why not red? Or black? They think they’ve got everything figured out down there and if you try to tell them different you’re wasting your time.”
“Right. That’s right,” I said. “I’d forgotten they had blue mailboxes too,” I said with a smile. It was the truth, I was thinking of Taj.
“Well it looks good but you didn’t need to paint that you know. The fella that lived in the house before you did painted it last year.”
“Yeah but it was white.”
“And you want blue?” she said, staring at me.
“Like the post office?”
“Yeah. Well, no. But yeah,” I said smiling as she squinted at me.
“You’re not a Holy Roller are you?”
I laughed. “No, I don’t think so. I’m a Frito girl.”
“A what? Well just as long as you aren’t a Holy Roller. It’s crawling with them around here, have they bothered you yet? They will. They have been on my ass for more than 50 years. You’re a Frito girl?”
“You mean you drive that truck?”
“I’ll be damned. I thought that was your husband’s truck.”
“I don’t have a husband.”
“Well I don’t blame you there. You must be smart if you don’t have a husband. Most of them aren’t worth the trouble. You’re going to live there alone?”
She laughed. “Well I don’t blame you for that either. I live alone myself. And it’s you driving that truck, you say? I was sure it was a man.”
“Well you drive it too fast. My house is way back from the road and the dust you kick up is coming in through the windows even when they’re shut.”
I blushed. I’m sorry.”
“Don’t worry about it. Just slow down if you can. If you can’t, it’s okay. I know you have a job to do and there are worse things that a little dust. Dust won’t kill me,” she explained with an eyebrow cocked.
She laughed and I imagined I agreed with her. There is no way that dust is threat to this woman. I liked her.
“Right now I’m just content to know that you’re not one of those religious fanatics.”
I laughed. “No, no. I don’t think so.” I laughed some more. I had never been asked anything like this before and the novel experience hugely amused me.
“What’s yer name?”
“Oh my. That’s an interesting name. Are you Mexican? That’s a Mexican name, isn’t it?” She squinted at me as the sun was in her eyes.
“I see. Are you Catholic?”
She nodded. “I don’t care if you are long as you don’t bother me about it. You don’t have a husband but you drive that big truck down my road too fast and now you’ve painted the mailbox blue.”
I laughed. “Right.”
“Well it’s a great house you’ve got there. I used to own it. You aren’t nosy are you?””
I smiled. “No, I don’t think I am.”
“Good. So long then.”
She was on foot. I had no idea how far it was to her house but she turned and started up the drive, mail in her hand raised over her head to signal goodbye. I waved at her, but she didn’t look back. I crossed the road back to my house thinking that I liked the plot around here. I felt so entertained.
Skip to Part 4 – Brown Space Cow