I didn’t take a photo, but I swear that I did it.
The postal worker advised me that I couldn’t get a tracking number on the envelope. He smoothly explained that when you use a postage pre-paid envelope, you must send it on its way as is; with no attachments.
I said, “Well, I want to make sure that the folks in Augusta get the envelope, and I would love some proof.”
There was a stream of folks over at the table where you prepare envelopes and attachments for sending. I had no desire to get back into a line.
Since I would have had to put the envelope inside another envelope and then pay the tab for that and the extra shipping, I said, “Okay, send it.”
My official retirement paperwork is in the mail. Letting go of the envelope gave me flashbacks to the other moments in my life that burned themselves into my memory like high-powered lasers etching steel plates.
Since I am a self-aggrandizing analog man, it was more like one of those electro-mechanical pencils vibrating your initials into the bottom chrome-moly tube on the frame of your favorite stingray bicycle. It would have helped in identifying it if ever stolen by miscreants. Fortunately, no one was stealing bikes when I was a kid. I never used a lock; I didn’t need to.
Maybe that’s why I thought being a cop would be the easiest thing I could do to make a living. Newsflash; I advise all other youth against it wholeheartedly. Even this year, I have turned down opportunities to tell groups of kids that this is the job for them. I want to be honest, and that speech would be full of lies.
My kid made a choice based on my early years in the trade. He’s good, but he was sold a bill of goods early on. Things were better then. People seemed better then. It probably was a good idea when he shipped his application off to the State Police. I suppose that’s been ground into the frame of his own bicycle. I pray he’ll be able to send his retirement paperwork to Augusta in a couple more decades.
I can—now—only assume that the letter will arrive with my kindly notarized documents. A wonderful co-worker at the BPD notarized my request to retire and asked nothing in return for her chrome-squeezed stamp of approval. I offered. She declined.
While not one of her official duties, she asked me if I was sure that I wanted to do this. People tend to act as if there is something that can be said to keep you around a place a little longer. Kind people say things they should, but they don’t mean it. That’s not an air strike on kind people; we need more of them.
However, I base my statements on long discussions over cold cups of coffee. I have confirmed that my closer associates and I know that people won’t miss us. We base that on the fact that we don’t miss the people who left before us. We still love them, remember them, and enjoyed our time with them, but work and life go just as easily without those folks being around. We do like catching up with them from time to time. They all tell us the same thing; you guys need to get out soon.
This steady and constant theme of conversation allows us to realize that we did some important work, but it’s time for others to do theirs without our advice and oversight.
Now come the faux requests for a gathering, a going-away party. I declined that too. I know that people go to those for free bagels and coffee. My celebration will be a constant flow of thoughts and memories without other participants. Sometimes, a crowd of participants is celebrated, but I’ll attend alone, with my own choice of music and backdrops.
For now, I am trusting my postal workers. Like cops, they are not perfect but pretty good at what they do. I kept a couple of hard copies just in case they misplaced the envelope.
Thanks to all of you for joining me here at my Newslog (blog). I appreciate it so much. I’ve been busy this past week, so it’s been a bit of time since I wrote anything specific to this space. Thanks for buying the books, donating to keep the site up and running, and dropping me notes and comments. I read every single one. You are good folks.
From the jagged edge, I remain,