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The Other Shoe
By Loren Moore
The other day I got a small package in the mail. It was wrapped in plain brown paper that looked like it had been cut from a grocery store sack. It had my name and address printed with one of those felt tipped pens, but there was no return address on it. The whole thing was wrapped in wide strips of clear tape.
I tried to unwrap it but the tape was too tough for me to unwrap. So I got out my pocketknife and cut into the end of the package. But then I stopped and looked at the postage strip that told how much it cost to mail this package, it cost $1.52 to mail it. The strip also said it was mailed in Longview, Texas.
Now, who do I know in Longview that would be mailing me a package? Well maybe when I got it open there would be an answer to that question. I finally had to cut down one side to get the tape and paper off. What I found was a box like they mail new checks in. I'm familiar with these boxes because I save them. They make handy boxes to keep things in. I've got one setting here on my desk now full of rubber bands.
I tried to take the lid off the little box, but it was taped also, so I had to get my pocketknife back out and cut this tape. Now I could take the lid off the box. When I did there was a note folded on top of some pink tissue paper. Ah-ha! Now I will find out who sent me the package, I thought. I unfolded the note and it said, "reuniting two old friends."
That's all the note said! No signature or anything else, just "reuniting two old friends." Well this was really beginning to bother me. Who was this old friend that sent me a package to reunite us. Maybe the answer would be revealed when i unwrapped the pink tissue paper and saw what this friend had sent me. I unwrapped the pink tissue paper and found what had been sent.
Now before I tell you what it was, I need to give you a little background so you will understand what is going on. About six months ago I wrote a story about losing a friend of over forty years. That story was titled "lifebuoy." It was about lever brothers stopping the manufacture of lifebuoy soap. I had sent this story to a bunch of my friends and family.
Yes, you guessed it. When I unwrapped the tissue paper I found a bar of lifebuoy soap. I had been reunited with an old friend. But who had reunited me with that friend? I still didn't know. Now this began to bug me. Maybe it was Ö no she would have signed the note. It could have been Ö new, a man would never pull this kind of stunt, or would he?
Well, I thought, who ever sent it would send me an email and either tell me they sent it, or ask me if I got it. All I have to do is be patient. I waited, and waited, and waited. After a week, I was a nervous wreck. I began to loose my appetite. I was having trouble sleeping. I was jumpy and cranky.
It was like that old story of hearing one shoe drop and waiting for the second shoe to drop. Only it wouldn't drop. I had to do something, or this thing was going to put me in the crazy house. Johnnie told me she couldn't stand me like this any more and she gave me one of her Prozac tablets. At least I slept a little that night.
Each morning when I got out of bed, the first thing I did was to run to my computer and check my email to see if someone had fessed up to being the one that had sent me the bar of lifebuoy soap. Each morning the other shoe hadn't dropped.
Johnnie suggested we make a list of everyone that I had sent my story to that lived in Longview. Our list turned out to only have four names on it. That means Iíve got a 25% chance of guessing who sent me the soap. Johnnie had another suggestion. She suggested I send each of the four an email and say: "Thanks for the package."
Hey, that is a good idea, so I sent each of them the email. The next morning I hurried to my computer to see who would reply. All four replied and they all four said the same thing, "What package?" That night I was so bad that Johnnie had to give two Prozac tablets.
Now Johnnie was really worried about me so she sent an email to these four people and said, "Loren is really enjoying his surprise. He said to tell you thank you and he is keeping his ears clean."
The next morning, I again rushed to the computer to check our email. We had an answer from all four people. They all wanted to know what surprise? Well, what Johnnie did that night to get me to sleep is a whole nother story for a different time, but now she had to take one of her Prozac tablets herself.
It has been over a month now since I received the package, and I still don't know who it was from. But now that Iím on a steady diet of Prozac, I really don't care anymore. I did take these four people off of my list to send stories to, but I doubt that will motivate them to tell me they are the one that sent that package. That bar of Lifebuoy has been used up now. I just wish someone else would send me another bar. That was a dear friend, and I hated to lose him. I have always been brand name loyal. It's a shame Lever Brothers was not as loyal as I was.
If any of you happen to find a bar of Lifebuoy soap, it would be a gesture of real friendship if you sent it to me. But by all means let me know who you are. Please just mail it to:
2904 Nacelle La.
Arlington, Texas 76010
Reach Loren to comment: email@example.com