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Sunday, August 12, 2012


by David Feela

I had been paging through a magazine, 
the cat purring on my lap.  With one eye
I glimpsed the electric bill I had placed
on the entryway table so I wouldn’t
forget to put it in the morning mail. 
With my other eye I saw the mail truck
one house away.  I jumped up, the cat went
flying.  I grabbed the envelope, sprinted
to the mailbox, slammed it away, flipping
the flag to an upright position with
my free hand.  I stood aside, panting, as
the mail truck pulled in.  The carrier reached
out her window but instead of picking
my mail up, she dropped a satin ribbon
with a golden medal over my neck. 
“Congratulations” she said, “Best time for
shuffling bills from a home to the point
of delivery, an Olympic record!” 
She politely applauded, my one
woman cheering section, then collected
the mail and sped away, waving as she left. 
I waved back, stunned really, to know I had
the right stuff at my age not only to
qualify for such an event but to
win the gold.  I ambled back to the house,
the sun glinting off the medal’s surface,
catching my neighbor’s eye.  He stepped out to
his porch and flashed me a big thumbs up.  
I think the cat had even forgiven me
for my abrupt departure as I sat
back down, still feeling a little winded
but the glow from such an adrenaline
rush still radiated.  Later on I
picked up a quart of milk at the QuickMart. 
The store manager followed me out to
the parking lot.  “Impressive aisle speed,
the best I’ve seen” he said, and he draped
another gold medal over my neck. 
By the end of the day I’d picked up four
more medals, though I was disappointed
by the silver awarded at the drive-up. 
I should have known better than to super-
size.  Back at home that evening I realized
I’d been training for this day my whole life.

David Feela writes a monthly column for The Four Corners Free Press and for The Durango Telegraph. A poetry chapbook, Thought Experiments, won the Southwest Poet Series. His first full length poetry book, The Home Atlas appeared in 2009. His new book of essays, How Delicate These Arches  , released through Raven's Eye Press, has been chosen as a finalist for the Colorado Book Award.