Holding It

By: Gabriela Yareliz

The boss asked me for edits on something at the very last minute. She knew I needed to go. I needed to get to the post office before it closed to send something for work. She still wanted me to “try my best”. So naturally, the edits took me up until the last minute, and then I ran out to catch my transport to the post office (if I missed it, I would be stuck for 40 minutes and would have missed the post office window). So I ran out, and I felt the weight of my full and heavy bladder. (A cursed feeling). I had planned to use the restroom before departure but that time was hijacked.

When I got on my mode of transport, I realized that while I had prepared the envelope for mailing and the address and everything was on it, I had not sealed it. With all these COVID cases rising, I knew there was no way in hell I was licking the flap of an envelope given to me by another human being. I had no water bottle, therefore that wasn’t an option. I put sanitizer on my hands and tried that. Negative. So, I took a look at my sanitized hands and decided to go for it. I spit on my fingertip (finger, of course, not touching my mouth) and started the process of sealing the envelope. I must have looked insane. I sanitized the hand again, post spit-fest. I sealed the envelope. I ran to the post office with the neon sunset and Statue of Liberty behind me.

I made it. I handed the envelope over and told her I needed it sent priority. The kind postal worker nodded and started sticking all the labels on it. She smiled at me. She remembers me as that girl who had a million envelopes that needed to be sent certified/return receipt that one time. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a corner of the flap was moist. Probably sanitizer. Deep breath and sigh. She took the envelope with her blue gloves and flung it in a bin. I walked out triumphant with the tracking number. It’s freezing. I descended into the train station. I am on the train. Someone sneezes, and there are a couple glances. The train fills and empties, fills and empties. I close my eyes and try not to think about the volume of people.

My legs are zipped tight, and I am convinced nothing is worth foregoing the restroom with a full bladder. Never again. Never again. With nerves on edge, I realize the contents of my bladder may not be the only thing I am holding in. I remind myself to breathe. It will be a long ride home.

Published by Gabriela Yareliz

Gabriela is a writer, editor and attorney. She loves the art of storytelling, and she is based in NYC.

2 thoughts on “Holding It

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