The Lady Postie -a Monologue-

This is essentially the body of an interview recorded in late July 2006 in the Droylsden Post Sorting Office. I have changed the names and cleaned up the narrative. to all intents and purposes it is a true story.

NB The Postie is Female.


(1.)
(Breath) I've been a postie now for, lets see… just over six years and people say I must have an endless wealth of interesting stories to tell.
Truth is I haven’t.
Well not until today, that is.
Oh yes, I’ve faced the odd aggressive dog and I once alerted the police to a house where the occupier was not clearing away their deliveries.
Turned out to be an old man who had died.
That’s about it really.
I got this round two years ago; it’s pretty compact, there are two areas either side of the canal.
If I were a sociologist I would investigate the social divide.
On this side of the canal the houses are semi detached, pre Second World War buildings, with neat gardens and posh cars parked in their drives.
On the other side of the canal, well it’s an endless warren of terraced houses, with untaxed vehicles and loads of social deprivation.
What interests me is these two communities which exist side by side, is their lack of interaction and their mutual animosity.
But as I said, I’m not a sociologist, just a humble postwoman, so I observe and refuse to be too judgmental. (beat)
You sometimes get a sniffy, stuck up prat who berates you on the doorstep for being late, or for not delivering a first class letter on time, I usually smile and tip my hat.
There is one old lady who often asks me to post letters for her, rewarding me with a sticky sweet like some subservient doggy, and there is C. J. Jackson who last week informed me he had found God and was a born again Christian evangelist.
I politely informed him that I was a born again Atheist evangelist, and could I interest him in a subscription to the Humanist Society?
He wagged his finger at me and said he would report me to the Chief Postmaster for insolence.
He never did, or if he did I heard no more about it. (Beat)
My boyfriend, Jim is a postie too; we met in the old sorting office on Cromwell Street.
We have this novel way of contacting each other; I send him a letter. It’s great.

A pause, to indicate a passage of time

2
I’m not a great clubber; with this job it’s all early mornings and early nights.
Having the afternoon to yourself is a great bonus though.
Me and Jim have booked a holiday, to Cyprus, his mother has an apartment in Limasol, he’s shown me a photograph, and it’s very nice. Did you know Richard the first; the ‘Lionheart’ married Benengaria his queen in Limasol?
Well he did.
It’s odd when you consider that he was homosexual.
Still as I think I’ve said before, we should not be judgmental.
I called into the off license this morning and I bought a bottle of wine, I thought me and Jim could have it with our tea, tomorrow.
On Fridays we always have a bottle of wine with our meal, Jim likes French wine the best, a good red, he says.
I think he tries to impress me with his sophisticated tastes, but even I know that you don’t put red wine in the fridge.
I like Piat D’or, me. Jim says I’m a bit of a peasant.

Pause
3
What? In my spare time?
Well, I like to cycle and read, I read a lot of historical novels, that’s how I found out about Richard the Lionheart.
I don’t have any particular favourite author.
I’m a bit of a romantic really, I like a good meaty story with a bit of love interest… oh, not girlie romances… if you know what I mean.
A love interest that’s… what’s the word I’m looking for?
Strong, you know, believable.
Mind, I read a book about Henry the Sixth and his wife Margaret of Anjou the other day, I don’t often read purely factual books but it was very interesting.
I like to go to the Sculpture Park, I’ve seen lots of things I don’t understand but I like.
Y’know last week there was an exhibition of Bourdelle.
He was Rodin’s assistant…
Rodin was the person who did ‘the Kiss’
When I first saw it I thought it was a bit dirty.
Like, you know a dirty old man, but when I saw this Exhibition I think I began to understand it.
I told them at work about this exhibition and they all said Ooooo… like they do, Dave said I was to be careful, otherwise I might become a stuck up prat, I said no fear.
Anyway this exhibition by Rodin’s assistant was right good.
There were this big horse, it looked very strong.
You felt you just had to go up and stroke its nose.
Funny that ain’t it?
Pause

4
It’s still raining, hasn’t stopped.
When I’m out on the round you tend to ignore rain.
It's part and parcel of the job. Oh sorry, didn’t mean in a Postie way…
You soon toughen up, although I can’t stand ice.
Several of my friends have fallen on ice, broke their legs, arms.
You get compensation like, but what good is compensation when arthritis sets in?
Do you know I was down for another round this morning?
Ken Blackmore had called in sick, right and I was going to do his round, over on Greenside.
It’s a big round with a lot of cul de sacs.
I don’t like it, but I need the money for the holiday.
I wonder who eventually did it?
I guess it’s academic now; they will be looking for me.
How long are you going to keep me here?
The police are outside and they know you’ve got a gun.
Give yourself up, I’ll put in a good word for you, after all, you’ve not touched me.
Pause
5
They always telephone you, I’ve seen it on the telly, and they try to talk you out without hurting you.
They won’t hurt you if you give yourself up; you could give me the gun now, say no more.
I always think that to do something like this tells me that you must have suffered. I used to wonder when I delivered mail to you, all those small packets.
The Post Office sometimes open them for security reasons, did you know that?
Well, they do.
I’ve never opened a packet though.
What were they sending to you?
No - don’t tell me, I don’t think I want to know.
Mrs Hargreaves, next door, she can be a bit funny, she gets loads of junk mail, mind I shouldn’t complain, should I?
Keeps me in work, it does. It wasn’t me who shopped you. I was just doing my job.
Pause

6
I don’t know your name, and you won’t tell me what it is.
I know your mail comes addressed to J Mane.
I’ll tell you mine, its Valerie.
Spelled in the French manner… that’s ‘ie’ rather than the usual ‘y’.
I’m good at guessing names; you look like a John, something powerful, English.
The police haven’t rang for some time now.
They’ll be planning their next move.
I know you don’t like me wittering on, like but… that’s something else you know, ‘but’.
My teacher always said you should use a more appropriate word, like, like ‘however’.
Come on, John… do you mind if I call you John?
I’d like to call you something.
Give yourself up; you’ll only make it difficult for yourself, and me, if I have to be honest.
I don’t want to die.
I’ve only just learned how to use the Internet.
And they tell me there’s a whole new world out there, cyberspace, it’s called.
I like to visit chat rooms.
Do you know what a chat room is, John?
Well, it’s like a whole room full of like-minded people interacting together.
But… sorry… like however, these like-minded people can come from all over the world.
And do you know it’s only the price of a local call.
I met this really nice guy the other day, called ‘Snapper’.
That’s not his real name; it’s his cyber tag.
I’m ‘Stamp’
He comes from Holland and he says he would like to meet me, someday.
Can I let you in to a little secret? I have made arrangements to meet him in Hull.
Jim will never find out.
He… Snapper, that is, runs a courier business, sending lots of things to the U.K.
I don’t know exactly what, he hasn’t told me yet, but he promised to tell me when we meet.
He said that with my knowledge of England, and the business I was in we, could be of mutual assistance.
I found out he has a contact in Openshaw called ‘Diver’.
But the contact was not operating to his satisfaction.
He used the word, ‘Flaky’… that’s an Internet word you know.
Anyroad, this guy has not been playing straight; he has been taking more money than what he was entitled to do, which I think is wrong really, don’t you?
Oh, there goes the phone again; you’d better answer it.

Pause
7
You haven’t lived here long, have you?
I can’t remember delivering your parcels for that long.
I was just thinking then, John… your little parcels come from Holland, don’t they?
What did the police want?
There’s a bloke with a rifle on that roof now, please John, don’t be daft, give yourself up.
While there’s still time.
You haven’t hurt anyone and I’m only a stupid cow of a postwoman. You know you won’t get away.
I’m frightened the police might really hurt you, honest.
Like I’ve said before, I’ll be a character witness.
Is that your computer?
I could log on to the police and negotiate for you.
I’m very good with words, me.
Come on, John; just give me your password, please.
There’s another guy across the road now.
John, this is getting serious, please think of me, and let me go.
I promise I won’t dig the **** on you, I’ll tell it like it is.
You have been kind and not hurt or touched me.
For the last time, give me your password, and let me talk to the police. What do you say it is? ‘Diver?’

End


Allesandro Allesandro
46-50, M
1 Response Dec 2, 2012

I quite like this story. There's a lot to it and it doesn't feel like its lacking anything. That's awesome.