Rose Bottom

by Richard Gribbins

He was a mail carrier who lived upstairs in a run down duplex that I owned in a small resort town. He also hauled around baggage during the tourist season.

He drove a rusty blue van. When he was not delivering mail, his standard uniform was jeans and a "mafia style" white undershirt, usually worn with cowboy boots. He wore large glasses and sported a wispy mustache. A few strands of hair remained on top of his head. When he wasn't working he drank beer continuously. But, he paid the rent on time and didn't call much, so in my mind he was a model tenant.

Once I had to enter his apartment to do some maintenance. He had red sheets which were sprinkled with corn flakes, and an occasional greasy smear. The guy also had one of those life-sized rubber women on his table. I had never seen one close up. Quite a feat of engineering. Her name was "Rose Bottom", according to a decal on her abdomen.

This was the kind of guy who you always expected to see in the morning paper, having committed some heinous crime... Instead, you usually got the church deacon or maybe the girl's softball coach.

He was still there when I sold the place. I seldom think about him anymore. I do think about Rose Bottom once in a while.

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