The Mail, One Last Time.
There is no more expectant time in prison than mail call. (For some, their release date is also important, but for others it may be too far off to worry about.)
Mail call is the one point in the day that we incarcerated types can receive some sort of positive validation of our self worth. It can also be the time of heartbreak and sorrow. Yeah those may be the extremes; every day does not have to be either one or the other. But some days...
Mail is distributed at 4:00 PM, Monday through Friday. With the exception of holidays. November has two: Veterans Day and Thanksgiving.
While mail is normally still delivered in the free world on Saturdays, we do not get mail on Saturday.
Mail is delivered to the post office from here sometime after 8:00 AM, Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. The last chance to send out a letter each week is Thursday evening. It is delivered to the post office, one hopes, Friday morning.
We still might get a letter in Friday's mail call, but the mail does not go out from here until Monday morning, and if Monday is a holiday, then it is Tuesday before the letter goes out.
Now imagine for a moment that the only way you could communicate with a friend or loved one was by the U.S. Mail. You had no cell phone, land line phone, no email, no direct personal contacts, no meeting at the local store. NO CONTACTS.
The only form of communication between you and another human would arrive in your mail box, once each day, and if you needed to get a message to someone, you needed to write it out, put it in an envelope and send it out. Imagine there was something that occurred on a Friday, it would not even leave your location till Monday morning and still need time to reach its intended destination.
One last combination. You do not get anything on a Thursday, and say no problem, maybe Friday. Well Friday comes and no letters for you. Now it is Monday before you can get a letter. Assuming you did get a letter on Wednesday, it will be Monday, five days, 120 hours, between the letters.
Think about that for a minute. Think about going 120 hours without any form of communication with another human being that actually cared for you. Think about needing to pass on some important news, and having to wait 120 hours before you were able to get confirmation back that the message was received!
Yes this is being a little obsessive. Guess I am specifically talking about feeling blue. Why would one care if it took a while to come down from feeling up?
The thing is you hope for mail Thursday and Friday, none arrives, and by this time you know it will be Monday, before you even have the possibility to get a letter. Overall that is a five day trek into the depths of bluedom, and that is why sometimes you see me 'looking' for the mail to help lift me up.
Now having spent way too much time on this subject let me state for the record, I know how hard it is to find the time to write.
So if you are one of those incredibly wonderful people that do write to me, or might be thinking of writing to me, do not worry about not being able to send lots of letters. Every letter I get is a great letter and the more I get the better.
I do not hold anyone individual responsible for keeping my spirit up, that is my job. You are welcome to raise my spirit when you can. I hope this is clear now.