Listen, it’s not that I’m a paranoid person.
I’m just a cautious, realistic, and very careful person.
I watch a lot of Investigation Discovery and I read a lot of True Crime books. I’m also a writer, so my imagination is a little more tweaked out than the average person.
In short, I don’t have the desire to be friends with my neighbors. It heightens the chances that I’ll end up on “Swamp Murders”, and that’s just not in my life plan.
Our mailman lives fourteen houses down from us. How do I know this? Because he told me. I’m not kidding. Are you already beginning to see the sketchiness?
Maybe his behavior is weird because my husband accidentally drew a Crocodile Dundee knife on him at our annual Christmas party last year. The mailman rang the doorbell—I’m pretty sure he only did this because he saw strange cars in our driveway, as he only had junk Walmart ads to deliver. My hubs thought it was a couple of our friends, so he threw open the door with a wildman yell and the blade reared in his hand. (Yes, we have this kind of relationship with our friends, is that not normal??)
We moved into our rental house five months ago and the Mailman’s (I really have no idea what his name is) behavior started out only sort of weird. Our mailbox is a little metal flip box to the right of our front door, attached to the house. So Mailman has to come up to the front step to deliver the mail in that little box. But Mailman would come to the door and knock, even when he didn’t have mail. I figured this was just to get to know us maybe, since we were new to the neighborhood, but here’s the thing—Mailman is not really friendly or conversational. He just stands there and stares at me with his fat Hitler mustache and thick Jeffrey Dahmer glasses, waiting for me to continue friendly chatter. Which I happen to be good at, but hey, I don’t want to make it a daily routine. I am a dirty writer who lives in sweatpants, no bra, and unbrushed hair for three days at a time. I don’t want to see you, man.
So, after about three months of this, I turned into a crazy person, dropping to the floor and army-crawling out of site every time Mailman would knock on the door. And it worked! Eventually, he stopped knocking. Instead, he reverted to coming up to the box and just standing there for a good thirty seconds. Just. Standing. There.
But then, Mailman got smart. I have packages delivered to our house on average about two days a week, and I have to usually sign for them. I’d open the door and get my packages and two seconds after I’d shut the door, there would be a loud knock. Guess who?!
Mailman is standing there with this look on his face that says “GOTCHA!” and he’s got my stamped bills to be sent out in his hand. He begins to thumb through these envelopes and looks back at me.
“The owner doesn’t pay these bills?” Mailman asks me.
“Wh-what?” I’m completely taken off guard by his nosey-ass question.
“He’s making you pay these bills?” Mailman continues to intrude. My defensive invisible laser wall shoots up in front of me and my inner Robocop quickly scans the front porch for a stick or rock.
“Uh, of course,” is all I can think to say because I’m distracted by the thought of wondering if the attached-to-the-house-mailbox will rip off easily in case I need to use it as a makeshift weapon. Mailman just looks at me with this weird gaze like he knows something I don’t, or that he wants this to turn into a conversation that speaks ill of the owner of the house.
“HAVE A GOOD DAY!” I suddenly blurt out with a too-loud, obvious nervous giggle and shut the door. I can see Mailman’s silhouette (Our front door is frosted glass) and he just stands there for another moment before slowly retreating.
I’m freaking out, but Mailman steers clear of being visibly creepy for the next couple of weeks. Regardless, I resort to what I do when delivery men come to the house—keep my boots on with a hunting knife hidden in the side of them. You know, just in case. I don’t want to rip the mailbox off the house if I don’t have to, right?
I think I’m in the clear—but then! There is a coat closet right beside the front door. The other day, I walk over to the coat closet and I gasp when I notice movement outside the frosted glass of the front door. It’s Mailman—and he is again just standing there. Like we’re at a face off without actually being able to see each other’s faces. This lasts for about twenty seconds. A looooong time. He finally and abruptly leaves. I wait five minutes. I open the door and lift the mailbox lid.
There is no mail.
Clearly, a Post Office box is in order…and a terrifying book about a mass murdering mailman.