In Her Tower She Paints Her Face

Jenn writes erotic stories on postcards and drops them into her mailbox just before the little truck gets there. Some of them are true and some aren’t, but they’re all about her. She hides in her kitchen and watches the mailman reading them, his face the measure of her success.

One time she is sitting on the steps in front of her house smoking a cigarette and he comes up to her. “Ma’am?” he says, his hat in his hands.

“Yessir,” says Jenn, cool and easy like the smoke that curls into the October sky from her cigarette.

“About those postcards, ma’am…” It’s not easy for him, and she doesn’t make it easier, just watches him, her arms crossed lazily over her knees. The mailman flushes slowly, blood waving up through his face. “They’re pretty racy.”

“Are they?”

“Well, maybe they are, maybe they aren’t, but on a postcard, ma’am, I mean, anyone can read those, I mean, aren’t you worried?”

Jenn shakes her head, flicks ash into the tin can by the railing.

“Well, I’ve said what I’ve said. If you’re not worried, I guess it’s none of my business. But you might, er, you might want to make all those letters instead of cards. Safer that way. If you’re worried. But if you’re not it’s none of my business. You make your decisions.”

“Thank you,” she says, and he stumbles and stutters some more before getting into his truck and driving away.

The next day there’s a postcard waiting for her when she opens the mailbox. It’s unsigned and unaddressed and Jenn does a little dance as she goes back inside.