#30 – NEWSPAPER DELIVERY GIRL
The Adventure – Chronicles of a Super Extraordinary Newspaper Delivery Girl
It’s not every day an ex-project manager with 10 years of post-secondary education finds herself delivering newspapers in the dead of night.
This was the ONLY monthly adventure to date where I brutally damaged myself – losing a lot of skin and breaking only one body part. It was also one of the only adventures where my EGO got the crap kicked out of it.
I sometimes randomly do things – sometimes for good reason…and others – well, for no apparent reason at all. And it’s adventures like these that take me by surprise. That something so innocuous as delivering a newspaper (for only 4 days!) could so dramatically change the way I think, feel and behave.
It was a dark soul of the night kind of journey for me. Kind of fitting when you think about the dark hours that newspaper delivery people keep.
Below are my chronicles.
Day 1 – Episode: Liberating Anomalous Event
Just got home from delivering my first batch of newspapers with the trainer! I feel like a kid in a candy store!
This is a short route, only 100 papers, which is good to cut my teeth on as a contractor. Apparently, if I get into the swing of things and do well, they’ll give me a second route. All I need now is a flashlight, a marker, and I’m good to go.
Weirdly enough, I feel quite liberated.
Well, it’s 6 am and I need to get some zzzzzzzz’s.
Day 2 – Episode: Death of the Ego
I just got home from another middle-of-the-night newspaper delivery run.
It seemed so easy yesterday under the watchful eye of the trainer who knew where exactly to go. But when it’s dark outside and there is nothing around you but mile-high hedges with no visible addresses, it makes the evening go not so well.
It hit me hard over the last few hours – wondering if I can keep this up and wondering what kind of adventure this is.
I did a one hour route in exactly two hours and thirty-five minutes.
This does not bode well.
Even a cop swung by because he thought I might be in distress at one point in the evening.
Then motion sickness struck.
And now my poor hands are covered in dark yucky stuff, feeling like all the moisture has been sucked dry.
What’s not so funny is that, earlier on in the evening, I was at an event and met someone who told me about their job as a demonstrator. I remembered thinking: I know exactly who this person is – this is the person I avoid eye contact with because I don’t want to be sucked into watching their demonstration, guilting me into buying their product…sort of like that street person over there who I no longer notice when strolling down the street.
But the GALLING thing was this – I told the demonstrator what I ‘used to do’ for a living.
Like that was something to be impressed about.
My ego, so colossal, could not withstand the thought of telling a stranger that it was currently delivering newspapers.
I make twenty cents a paper, by the way.
There is approximately one hundred papers on this route. So tonight, during the four hours I worked, I made a whopping $20. That’s $5 an hour. And if I pull up my socks, they’ll give me a second route.
That doesn’t include travel time or the petrol used in my car.
I keep thinking to myself that there’s got to be something good about this experience.
There’s just got to be.
On my way home, I received a call from one of newspaper guys who was kindly checking up on me to see if I was okay. Even though I told him I was beginning to question whether or not I was cut out for this, his words gave me comfort, leaving me with the sense that I wasn’t alone in this dark night of my soul.
My ego is dying a slow and painful death in the quiet dark hours of the early morn.
But there is something gratifying, nonetheless, in doing this work. So perhaps I’m not such a hopeless case after all.
In good heart…
Day 3 – Episode: Running Down A Dream
This delivery girl business ROCKS!!!
I shaved almost a full forty minutes off my time, doing everything in just under 2 hours. WAY better than yesterday! I was running, running, running – blitzing about – on a mission to beat my time.
And tomorrow I dare to dream that I will be even more spectacular!!
Driving home in the early morning light, I had the windows down with my hair flying about and a shit-eating grin plastered across my face. It was then that the radio began to play Tom Petty’s song, “Running down a dream.”
Here I am in life, busy-busy, running-running-running, running down my dreams of adventure.
And it feels so good.
Like anything is possible.
Good morning to you all…and good night to me!
Day 4 – Episode: There’s No Use Crying over Spilt Blood
Excited and on a high, I was the Super-Extraordinary Newspaper Delivery Girl!
With my work day (night) almost done, I gleefully ran toward the designated target (aka mailbox slot), but was unexpectedly thwarted.
Apparently, under the cloak of darkness, a couple of 2×4′s laying on the ground decided to derail my well-laid plans, sending me flying through the air.
If I was wearing a cape, you would have confused me with a super hero of some sort, I am sure.
After moments of stunned silence, and what I suspect was shock, I slowly made motions to pick my wounded bleeding body off the ground.
Somewhat confused, I looked down at the newspaper in my mangled hands – that white-ish thing I vaguely remembered I was attempting to deliver. It was severely damaged from the fall, all torn and battered beyond reading. Turning around, I slowly, but gradually, made motions to move toward my car. Once there, I retrieved a newspaper from the backseat and took 5 minutes to deliver it gently into the mail slot – only 50 feet away.
I then finished my newspaper delivery route. Ten more houses. Ten more times getting in and out of my vehicle. Ten more newspapers to deliver.
My final hurrah.
After checking myself into the hospital, I was found to have not only missing epidermis on the four bendy areas of my body, but also, a fractured left arm.
Yes, you heard me right.
With a broken arm and the skin torn off all my knees and elbows, I delivered newspapers.
But if you thought I had problems…think again.
The cops and paramedics brought in some young punk who was obnoxiously loud and demanding to see his lawyer. The police finally took a few steps away from him to, from what I suspect, get some peace. As he sat across from me, he finally noticed my presence. What was I in for – he asked. Obviously for being such a kick-ass delivery girl!! I raised my elbows slightly and he winced, looking away, saying no more. Although he did kindly mention that I was going to be the last female he’d ever see.
Just when I thought I had it bad.
Well, I think it’s time to sign off, perhaps permanently this time.
Love from your favourite newspaper delivery girl,
Patricia, the one-fingered typer.
Day 7 – Episode: Pride goeth before the ‘Fall’
It was only a week ago when I randomly applied for the position of Super-Extraordinary Newspaper Delivery Girl in the middle of the night.
I’ve been known to make some interesting late-night decisions and this obviously was one of them. A part of me liked the cool quiet late night hour, the meditative routine, the exercise, the part where I was alone.
I liked being alone.
But instead, I am beginning to suspect it was more like providence for a well-needed lesson in humility and pride.
And with the very obvious sling on my arm, I know the more obvious questions will arise.
What happened to you?
So do I preserve my false sense of pride or do I tell the truth of it all? I can only hope I have the courage to speak the words that need to be said. Obviously something to ponder while I walk down this inevitable path of my ultimate destruction of the person I used to be, that person who once smugly believed herself to be superior to a demonstrator – even a newspaper delivery girl.
But enough. Enough.
My Ego is dying and it needs a proper send-off. Time to say goodbye to my sweet enabler, my old friend, my Ego.
Don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out.
With love from your Super-Extraordinary Newspaper Delivery Girl
One Year Later…
It’s been a telling year for me.
My colossal ego has left the building and in its place is something else. Something better.
I’m still running down my dreams, doing whatever needs to be done in order to get by, following the siren call into my future – that which bewitches, beguiles, entices, captivates my senses.
I might not be delivering newspapers to your door anytime soon…but you can find me building websites making videos – doing whatever needs to be done. I have no shame. I’ve been humbled, brought down to my knees.
And without question – for this, I am extremely thankful.
There will be days when I trip. Sometimes even fall. At times, I will get a little bruised, perhaps even a little dirty. But I pick myself up, gently taking care and I wipe away the sweat, the tears, the blood, and the dirt…and I know that I am okay.
I will always be okay.
Signing off with love,
From Your Super-Extraordinary EX-Newspaper Delivery Girl
© Monthly Adventure, Patricia Taylor, June 2010