Poetry

The UPS Man

By Ruth Z. Deming



He was late, very very late. I was frantic, but I had gotten a message
he would soon be here.

I was diverting myself by talking to a former boyfriend, Russell
Eisenman, now living in McAllen, Texas. The poorest county in the United
States.

Russell was still teaching. I remembered when he and I would play tennis
at Wall Park in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania.

The train whistle blew.  A soothing sound.

I’ll bet if I looked in my “falling-apart” green silk address book, his
name and number would still be there.

A veritable history of my life.

The UPS man had finally arrived.

He handed me the flat package that read “Extremely urgent” – “Express” –
“UPS” ensconced in a deep brown shield.

I smiled at the man, hoping that none of the unsalted nuts I was eating
didn’t mar my teeth.

“There was a big pile-up on the Turnpike,” he said to me, holding out
the package.

“I know a couple of back roads, which I used, without leaving the Turnpike.”

He knew the package must get here ASAP, since medication was inside.

I did not say a word about the medication.

HARVONI. Pink pills, shaped like Cinderella’s glass slipper.

In my 76 years here on earth, I had taken thousands of meds.

Lamictal, Depakote, Tacrolimus, Prednisone, Klonopin (or Klonny for
short), and I had many different physicians for my many problems.

Scuse me while I eat some more nuts.

I learned to use the word “Sir” from my daughter, Sarah Lynn Deming, who
donated her kidney to me.

Problem was – and this is a biggie – it gave me insulin-dependent diabetes.

Fuckin pain in the ass.

If you look at my fingers, you can’t tell that I stick them to check my
sugar level at least four times a day.

Ouch!

Ouch!

My fingernails are neatly cut. I clip them with an enormous silver
scissors that one of my many lawn cutters left here years ago.

Have I told you I have COVID-19?

My blue-eyed boy, Daniel Paul Deming, brought me and Scott a self-test.

Both Scott and I took the test and as we waited, the “blue line” began
to show.

Sort of like a pregnancy test, but this was a disease test.

Damn!

I thanked the UPS delivery man.

Pulling aside my blue mask, I said, “And what is your name, sir?”

“Russell,” he said.

“You did a great job, Russell.”

I went inside, bent over the kitchen sink, and ran some cold water.

I am not that particular and I easily gulped down the pills.

Then I rested on one of my two red couches I had purchased at Gamburg’s
Furniture in Hatboro, Pennsylvania.

Damn. I was in quarantine for five whole days. Well, now it is down to
three days.

My good friend Ron had taken his own life, as did a few more of my friends.

If only they had waited longer, perhaps Covid would have killed them.

Categories: Poetry

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