One-man postal agency

  Whenever I reminisce with media reporters or pure friends, they are very interested in the way I lived and wrote in the countryside for 10 years. Among them, the way of communicating with the outside world is a topic that is often asked, and I will tell the truth. Relying on a postal route, whether writing a letter or posting a novel draft just written, it is all handled by a postal agency. This is a “post office” with only one person supporting the business, but it has become a permanent memory for me.
  Every time I write a long or short novel or essay, or I want to post a letter, I ride my bike to the postal agency 8 miles away. This postal agency is located in a military university. This military university was founded in the late 1950s, and its address was chosen in a deep recess on the north slope of Bailuyuan. It is said that it can be concealed from aerial reconnaissance. The Military University opened in the early 1960s. In order to facilitate the postal service of this extraordinary military academy, the Post Office set up a postal agency on the campus. In this way, for the first time in the area where I live, there is a postal agency that can subscribe to newspapers and send letters and mail. The local villagers within nearly 20 miles have been wiped out by the military academy. I am also one of the beneficiaries.
  The postal agency is located in a row of bungalows on the right side of the gate of the military academy, occupying only one small bungalow. I propped my bicycle on the side of the road, took out the manuscript or letter to be sent, and walked to the open window, I saw a familiar face, neither smiling nor surprised, but showing “you are here” in my eyes imagery. I first said what I wanted to do. If it was a letter, I would ask for a few stamps; if it was a manuscript, I would hand him the sealed letter and ask him to weigh it on the scale beside the table. Then I figured out the amount of postage on the abacus, I paid the money, and he tore off the stamp and gave it to me. I affixed the stamp with the paste he had placed on the windowsill, and gave him the envelope containing the manuscript. He slapped the postmark with the word “registered” on it, but he still didn’t speak. His eyebrows and eyes showed the image of “it’s done”.
  I still remember that face, and the expression on that face. The face was pale yellow and white, very clean; the eyes were neither small nor small, and always had a peaceful look; the bridge of the nose was neither high nor thin nor crooked, straight and solemn. His image and his demeanor are completely focused on the desk work, and he will not say a single polite word, let alone gossip or even nonsense. One time when I was leaving the window after handing over the mail, I suddenly thought, is he talking to me less, or is he like this to everyone? I stood sideways smoking a cigarette and watching. A well-dressed female military cadet walked to the window and brought a neatly wrapped parcel into the window. Entered the window, turned and left. I only heard a brief conversation or two about how much postage was paid. An equally young male soldier walked to the window in exactly the same way as the female soldier. Then I saw a well-dressed middle-aged woman walking to the window, from the way she dressed and walked with too much confidence, I guessed it was the wife of a senior military officer. I could only hear the voice of her questioning in the window in a very loud voice, but I could not hear his voice in the window. I could roughly hear it. She sent an email to her hometown in the distance: Why haven’t you received it yet? How many days will it take to reach the village of xx commune xx county xx county xx province? I won’t lose it… Judging from the expression on her face when she left the window, she got a positive and reassuring answer, and the sound of the leather shoes hitting the concrete pavement was also pleasant. I got on the bike and walked away… This guy just doesn’t like to talk.
  I remember an exception. When I took the stamps and smeared paste on the envelope, he took the initiative to say, “You published an article in the newspaper the day before yesterday?” I was quite surprised that he paid attention to my writing. , without hesitation, affirming it with “Oh”. He went on to say, “I went back to the bureau yesterday to study politics. I heard what everyone said.” He didn’t say how the people in the post office said my novel or essay, but it was a topic I really wanted to hear. He kept his mouth shut and didn’t say anything, and didn’t say whether he read the article or not. Although I really wanted to hear the opinions of readers outside the literary circle, such as the Post Office, on my work, seeing that he was no longer interested in discussing the matter, I suppressed what I wanted to ask and stopped asking.
  In the 10 years that I lived in my ancestral home in the countryside to write, every time I wrote a long or short novel, I rode a bicycle. After riding the gravel road that was later run over by the car, I was in a positive mood. Every time a new work is written, whether it is a relatively large novella, a short story, or even two or three thousand words of prose, it is a kind of active journey on the way to the postal agency. Feeling. The continuous turbulence caused by potholes on the gravel road not only does not destroy the positive mood, but stimulates the continuity of the positive. Even when I rushed to the window of the familiar postal agency, and faced the familiar face, I realized that the image of “you are here again” appeared in the eyes again. Send it to the window and handle it as before… I can’t remember how many manuscripts and letters have been sent by his hands in the past 10 years, but I can be sure that nine out of ten manuscripts and letters in the past 10 years were handled by his hands. Yes, to editor friends in the province and abroad. What is more accurate and rare is that no manuscript or letter has ever been lost. In the early 1980s and early 1990s, mail correspondence was almost my only channel of communication with the outside world—not to mention the unpretentiousness of the countryside, the telephone was also a rarity in urban households. The agent at the postal agency has become the most reliable bridge for me to communicate with the outside world.
  The new century has just arrived, and I returned to the original house where I had been separated for seven or eight years, and lived alone for two years. Sitting in the courtyard at night watching the moon gradually moving from the east to the west, in the morning is often awakened by the sound of birds flying to the eaves or the treetops in the courtyard. The most practical and the most beautiful feeling. When the desire to write surged, manuscript papers were spread out in the small bookstore. Every time a long or short article is written, according to the familiar road seven or eight years ago, the light and comfortable bicycle and the hometown road that I have traveled the most in my life and are most familiar with, I rushed to the postal agency at the gate of the military academy 8 miles away from my home. , is still the bungalow with the green mailbox hanging on the wall at the entrance, still the window below the open window, and behind the table in the window is still sitting the agent with a yellowish white face, the only change is that the top of his head appears White hair, after all, seven or eight years have passed. The moment he saw me, there was a strange look in his eyebrows that was not easy to detect but was still noticed by me, and asked, “Didn’t you enter the city?” I replied, “I’m back again.” talk. I handed over the mail, nodded and said goodbye. In the past two years, the number of times I went to this postal agency operated by one person was much less than that of the previous 10 years. I already have a mobile phone, and a phone is installed at home. Whether it is business or private, urgent or nosy, I can use the phone to make it clear at any time. I almost no longer use the communication method of writing letters. Only when a new manuscript is written, does one have to rush to the window of this postal agency operated by one person. I have so far not used the light and fast delivery method of electronic manuscripts and have relied on the original method of mailing handwritten manuscripts.
  In the second year of my return to the ancestral home in the countryside, I can’t remember the season. I once again rode a bicycle to the window of the familiar postal agency, handed over the manuscript to be mailed, and just turned around to leave. When I was in the window, he spoke and asked me to wait. When I turned around again, I saw that face that had always been calm and calm, showing a modest smile, and said to me, “Please do something.” I naturally accepted it and waited for him to say something. He still had the rare modest smile, and told me in a calm and optimistic tone that he was going to retire soon. I was stunned, I couldn’t see that this middle-aged face was already in its sixties. When I was in a daze, I felt a slight shock in my heart, and I felt an unforgettable love. I then asked, “You’re actually going to retire? You look fifty years old at most.” He didn’t make any excuses. He still smiled and told me that his children knew that he knew me and bought two of my books. book, let him sign the book when he sees me again. He said he rarely saw me after he retired. Of course I promise. He made an exception to open the door of the bungalow and let me in; he put my two books on the table, stood aside, and let me sit in his chair. I used my own pen to sign my name on those two books. This should be one of my most attentive and serious signatures. He said two words of thanks in succession. I have signed thousands of books for friends and readers I know and don’t know, but I dare not accept his words of thanks.
  I shook hands with him and said goodbye. He made an exception and walked out the door. When I pushed up the bicycle, I held his hand again, and I couldn’t bear to let it go.