Monday, 1 October 2007

Chapter 3

The boys had been upset obviously that she was leaving, but their mum had promised to see them everyday and that seemed to mollify them a bit. Jimmy had spoken to her briefly the day after she had left and they had sorted out the loose ends. They arranged for her to come to the house every morning and get the boys up and off to school until she found somewhere to live and then they would move in with her. They would put the house up for sale and she would carry on paying half the mortgage until it was sold and because it was all so amicable they wouldn’t rush into divorce they would just wait until they had been separated for two years and have the marriage annulled, easy!
If Jimmy was honest his life hardly changed in those first few weeks. He was a postman and got up for work at 4.30am everyday so never saw the boys in the morning and was still at home waiting for them when they got in from school. He usually cooked them tea then fell asleep on the sofa while they watched television or played computer games, and that didn’t change. The only real change they had noticed was the incessant moaning had been replaced by post-it notes. The post-it notes were stuck all over the house by military precision, or so it seemed, every morning when Sammie came to wake the boys. They were there to inform him what he should be doing, what he shouldn’t be doing and how badly he was performing on anything he was actually doing. One post-it actually informed him to “read the post-it notes!”
He was sure it had not always been like this and they must have been happy once. They had met a lifetime ago when he worked for one of the major banks and was a manager in a call centre; she had been a team leader working under him. They met a few times out of work and then progressed to her working under him at home as well! It was frowned upon having a relationship at work with one of your team members so they had to do it all secretly and that was fun. They had nearly got caught a couple of times and that seemed to spice up the relationship as well. They weren’t able to “come out” until Sammie took a promotion in a different department but by then they were sure their relationship was common knowledge anyway.
They had only been living together three or four months when Sammie fell pregnant. Jimmy did the right thing and proposed when they found out about forthcoming addition and had a shotgun wedding shortly after. She’d given up work to look after George with the intention of going back when he started school then Billy came along and work was put on the back burner a little longer.
They couldn’t afford to live on one wage, they had a huge mortgage, and the cost of childcare made it prohibitive for Sammie to go back to work full-time, so she got a part-time job working evenings when Jimmy was home to look after the boys. She didn’t like going out when he got in, they saw less and less of each other and their relationship became strained.
She was very career minded and was keen to pick up where she left off before George was born. He on the other hand hated his job and would be more than happy to do something less stressful and demanding. So they swapped roles, Sammie took on a full-time job with the bank earning the main wage, she was able to drop the boys at school on the way to work and Jimmy got a job as a postman so he could be home to get the boys from school.
Jimmy loved life as a postman, he may have halved his salary overnight but he now had a new found freedom, once he got over the shock of having to get up at 4.30 every morning and the realization that the job was harder than he thought. He no longer had to take the stress and strain of work home with him and spend all night worrying about the day ahead. The preconception that he would turn up in the morning be handed a bag of mail and sent out on his way to chat with his customers whilst strolling round drinking vats of tea was soon blown out of the water. He had to sort mail when he arrived at work then prep his own delivery and finally cycle out to his round with sometimes up to eight bags of mail then back for a second delivery. It was all a far cry from his job in the bank, a job he sort of fell into.
He’d been in the right place at the right time really, as he had no academic qualities of note. Starting off as a data entry clerk he moved up the ranks mainly due to hard work and commitment rounded of with a good idea here and there. That was all he was really a hard worker not a manager, he had far too much empathy for the staff and unlike his employer, thought they should be treated how he would like to be treated. Also he had a problem communicating with people, not just talking to them but he felt somehow uncomfortable around them especially if he didn’t know them. This made him seem aloof and distant and perhaps sometimes, rude.
First he put it down to being shy but somehow thought it must go deeper than that as a lot of people he had known for a long time made him feel uncomfortable when he was around them. He had spent a lot of his free time researching on the internet and was now trying to convince himself he wasn’t an undiagnosed autistic. Not that he was very bright or could commit things to memory that he could recount at will or that he had to have things set up in orderly rows. Well maybe the orderly rows thing but everybody liked their DVD’s tidy and in order, didn’t they? Anyway he read that gay men liked things clean and tidy so did that mean he was gay? He had to admit that he had once been sexually aroused watching a program on Thai lady boys and had been very embarrassed when he realized they weren’t ladies! He had spent the following couple of weeks getting drunk, farting, burping and commenting on the size of ladies breasts to prove how much of a mans man he was. This ended abruptly when a rather large bloke threatened to break his neck if he commented on his wife’s tits again.
He was sure he wasn’t autistic but, although he would never admit it to anyone else or very rarely to himself, he could be somewhere further down the spectrum, Aspergers syndrome possibly. He had done a lot of online quizzes to try and find out if he had the condition, and then re-done them to come up with the answer he wanted to hear!
This would explain a lot but what good would it do to have it clinically diagnosed at this stage in his life? If he was an Aspie, he liked that, Aspie was a good way to describe how he felt some days, it wouldn’t change anything. Apart from maybe he would have something to blame his behavior on and that might be detrimental. He had spent all his life trying to conform and if he had an excuse not to he may not and that would make life difficult for him and anyone close to him.
So being a postman was good for him, he spent large chunks of the day on his own in his own little world. He wished that he had made this career move years ago. The only drawback was now he saw even less of Sammie. He was gone before she got up in the morning and he was always early to bed or if he stayed up, asleep on the sofa. Their relationship disintegrated beyond repair.

Copyright © Chopski 2007 - All Rights Reserved


her indoors said...

nagging by post it notes now there is an idea thank you.
wonder if it will stay amicable, i will have to wait and see

Chopski said...

HI; I better apologise to Mr HI now then. Sorry!!

Kahless said...

Are you trying to elicit sympathy for postmen?

Love your writing Chopski!

Lapa said...


He has, also, translated into Portuguese the Wealth of Mations by Adam Smith.

He has been awarded several prizes.

Don't forget the name of this great author, you'll be hearing of him soon.

Thank you for spending time in Universal Culture.

Please don’t erase this coment from your blog.

Thanks for visiting

DJ Kirkby said...

Portuguese literary spammers? I've seen everything now!
Aspie eh? You talking about me or you Chops? I bloody knew you'd cheated on those quizes lol! Now where did I put my stack of post it notes?

toby said...

Wonder if your Cristovao knows my Rodrigo!

Funny stuff, Chopski! Between DJ's fighting 'parents' and these two with their silent nagging, this is dangerously familiar territory for me! :)

Chopski said...

K; Thanks and I always try to elicit sympathy for postmen!

L; I'll try to remember.

DJ; Write about what you know!!

T; I wonder if I translate well into Portuguese? The story moves away from the silent nagging over the next couple of chapters and hopefully away from familiar territory too!?!

Lady in red said...

it all sounds familiar to me being married to a lorry driver we communicated via notes for years....with him going to bed before the kids at night getting up hours before everyone else then me working evenings

Chopski said...

L in R; Hey, maybe I'm writing about you!?!