A former colleague

You can't hide from the past. You can run, but you can't hide. The past will sooner or later catch up with you. Today I was reminded of that bromide when I caught a former postal colleague in the supermarket. That is, I saw him in the corner of my eye, and he saw me too, I thought, but I got the impression that he was avoiding me. A few minutes later, when I was standing in line, he walked right passed me towards the exit, carrying just one piece of grocery, but outside he had to wait in an alcove for the sudden shower to pass. I waved, he smiled. He let me join him in his shelter. 'So, you're still alive,' I said. He nodded. 'That's not true of our mayor.' 'I know. He got out of it.' The former postal colleague, who literally exuded bachelorhood, worked for the competition, and was more or less proud of the way he cheated the company by not doing everything properly (i.e. throwing mail in the waste that he deemed wastable, which was a lot) and still getting paid. He told me he didn't work there anymore, which slightly alarmed me, because I thought he might be sacked because of what I wrote about him in my Diary of a mailman. Turned out he could retire early without losing his benefits. 'A few more years of welfare, and I will get my state pension,' he said, matter of factly. 'So what are you doing all day?' I asked. He smiled. 'Nothing.'