Get There



The letters were piling up. “It's time to go”; “Get there!” they read. Eleven oh Four Cathedral Place was the final destination.

He had one reply for all of them: “Why should I bother?” But then why should he bother replying, either?

A knock sounded on his door.

“More of these,” the mailman said brusquely, stuffing a few letters into his hand. Little pushes; persistent nudges reminding him that his bag lay packed in the corner, that his plans had long been arranged and rearranged, and that he himself thought daily about making the trip – indeed, most of his thought went to how he would handle the various stumbles he would inevitably meet. How much energy and time he would have to expend in fixing them. How many sighs he would take about what could have been avoided. Well, it all could be avoided.

“When are you going?” asked the mailman. “You've been here longer than I've been coming, and I've been delivering these since day one.”

“What's the point of going if I already know the place?” he laid it out, one rational being to another. The mailman made a face like he did have a good point before he left.

He stayed out on his porch. Sometimes he liked to sit there and watch the many people rushing by along the street. He was less amused by where they might be going – he laughed to himself; he probably knew where they were going better than they did – than their going. He shook his head as a couple sped by without noticing him or anything in their periphery.

A monumental waste of time. The more he thought about it the more obviously that rang. Yet they kept irritating him with those letters, pushing him to go.

Picking up the suitcase and setting off would sully the decent thing he had going here, if not break it down altogether. It was idiocy. Too many people broke their lives apart for, in the end, nothing. Let the rest make that discovery along the way. He didn't have to make the trip to find that. He already knew that. He'd just watch them and save his energy. He had his small piece of world to take care of, anyway, because there was ultimately nothing else to do, and he had his library in the living room, where when he didn't think about the trip he contemplated people's obsession with speed.

He swept the porch of a few stray leaves. Pristine. He picked the cloth up out of the bucket and wiped the “Eleven oh Four Cathedral Place” sign beside the door until it gleamed before going back inside.