There is something very depressing about an empty mailbox. The loneliness of it. It stands tall and straight. As if unaffected, whether empty or full. But there are the questions. Did they write before? Do they not now? Why not? Did something come, in the dead of night hidden in a cloak of anonymous promises, to spirit them away?
Where are they now? In a better land, perhaps. Surrounded by the high walls of newer, fresher, self-replenishing joys? Those walls can be thicker than stone could ever be. They are strong. Resilient against ravaging hordes. Too powerful for armies, bearing fire and arms. Cold to the cries of those left out. The sound of fists beating from the other side, all cold night. The stone swallows all.
And what of the man? The owner of the mailbox? Who would he be, can you tell?
Perhaps he is old. The years have taken away the friends and companions of the age gone by. And only he is left. To contemplate, to reminisce. To cry, and to have no one to smile to.
Perhaps he is young and busy. Too engrossed in whatever once seized his fancy, the correspondence having dried up in the meanwhile. Neglect, lack of time, and not a care in the world. He will wake up one day, and realize the lack of a presence. The vacuum, where laughter and tears and memories were supposed to be.
Perhaps he is young and lonesome. And proud. Too young to not be proud. To proud to call first. To take a look back, and see what has happened. To ask why it happened. To take a step in another direction. Perhaps the pride was defined in the complicated patterns of what everyone else might think. Perhaps he is now too lonesome to try again. Loneliness and pride together can be cruel torturers. The empty mailbox says all that. Or one day, it will.
What can we, who have no time and no care, do? The house may turn to ruin. The man may wither in the darkness. He may perish. What of it? There are places to be, people to see. And there is pride. Who would put in the first, lonely note? What if someone read? What would they say? What if no one read? Surely everyone isn't wrong? Why so many questions? No time. We go on.
No time for an empty mailbox.
Take a step. Be the first. Be the second. Be the tenth. It matters. Today, and in the days to come. Ladies. Gentlement. Guys. Girls. Comment.