The New Art of Waiting for a Package
When the sun set on my birthday, I had spent 12-plus hours on my couch, looking out my living room window, waiting for a package that required my signature. It never came. Now I’m dead inside.
I am 54. How did my life come to this? Let’s pull up my tracking number and see!
Oct 12, 2021 (4:02 pm) Picked up in Brooklyn, N.Y. My package—let’s not concern ourselves with what it contains; all you need to know is that technology is involved, that the expensive device contained therein has improved specifications, that I desire it, that it will make my monotonous, stupid life worth living again—is on its way.
Oct 13 (8:31 am) At destination sort facility in Dallas. A day ahead of schedule! I’d paid $39 for two-day delivery, because I have no impulse control and must hold this device in my hands as soon as possible. Am I retaining water? My fingers look fat. In any case, my package might arrive on my doorstep in one day! Will modern wonders never cease?
Oct 13 (2:11 pm) At local facility in Irving. Weird. What’s the difference between a “destination sort facility” and a “local facility”? Who knew there was such variety in facilities? Not to be confused with the multiplicity of Felicities. Ah, well. I’m sure I’ll see my package soon. It’s not due until tomorrow, anyway.
Oct 13 (2:58 pm) At local facility in Irving. Right. Heard you the first time. But good to know.
Oct 14 (9:00 am) On vehicle for delivery in Irving. See you soon, Packy! I’m working on my laptop from the couch today because I knew you were arriving. I cleaned up a bit. Sharpened my favorite package-opening knife. Cleared the space in my closet where I can hide the device from my girlfriend, who might ask awkward questions like “How much was that?”
Oct 14 (12:55 pm) Delay – Customer not available or business closed. WHOA HEY HO WAIT! I’m still on the couch, right by the door! [Sprints outside. No sign of delivery vehicle. No note on door.] Not true! Erroneous, erroneous on both counts! Customer was extremely available!
Oct 14, 2021 (1:32 pm) At local facility in Irving. What the hell? This can’t be happening. Plans have been made. Money has changed hands. I spend four hours on the internet and phone, talking to customer service from a company that shall not be named but that once crashed a plane carrying Tom Hanks into the ocean. The unnamed company’s representative promises it will be here tomorrow. Simple misunderstanding.
Oct 15, 2021 (3:30 pm) At local facility in Irving. Why is the system breaking down? Is this the supply chain I’ve heard about? Can’t I just drive to Irving and pick up Packy? More calls and DMs to customer service. I apologize more than once for my language.
Oct 15, 2021 (5:06 pm) At local facility in Irving. This is starting to feel personal.
Oct 16, 2021 (11:04 pm) At local facility in Irving. FedEx. It’s effing FedEx.
A sad weekend occurs. I’d planned to spend much time with the device inside Packy. We were to go on a walk around White Rock Lake. There is a birthday party Saturday evening at which I was going to nonchalantly take it from my bag. “Oh, this? I just got it. No, no. [slight chuckle] This is the upgraded version.” Instead, I brood. I eat cake. I drink wine. I gain 4 pounds.
Oct 18 (8:44 am) On FedEx vehicle for delivery in Irving. I sit all day on the couch, passing the time. I listen to Foreigner 4, track four. I watch YouTube videos about my long-lost device. My mind drifts: what is Packy doing all day on the delivery vehicle? Is her abductor kind? Is it fun for her? Is the delivery driver like one of the parking attendants in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off? Does Packy get to ride shotgun? Is she enjoying Irving at 120 mph? Do they make a run to Fort Worth for some barbecue from Goldee’s? I just want her to be happy. I cancel my birthday reservations.
Oct 18 (10:09 pm) At local FedEx facility in Irving. This is the Democrats’ fault. They’re in power. Use it.
Oct 19 (8:21 am) On FedEx vehicle for delivery in Irving. I sleep on the couch now. I live there. I am a couch-dweller.
Oct 19 (7:31 pm) At local FedEx facility in Irving. “That’s how it is on this bitch of an earth.” —Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot
Oct 20 (8:26 am) On FedEx vehicle for delivery in Irving. Midday, my phone dings with a text: “Dude. We need your story. Did you get your package?”