paid postage

a man for whatever reason started to receive two envelopes in the mail each morning, every day of the week: one white, one black. 

it became apparent to him rather quickly what each letter contained. the white letter contained all the results of his actions that were good. the black letter contained a list of all the results of his actions that were bad. 

at first, the man was very depressed about the black letters, and of course, he was pleased about the good letters. he made efforts to increase the length of the white letters and, hoped to one day never receive any black letters. 

one day he received only a white letter. at first he was happy to know that he has accomplished his moral goal. but then he worried that maybe the devil who delivered it was sick that day. then he began to wonder if devils got sick, wonder if it would be moral to serve the devil some soup to help him feel better. he mostly began to wonder this because he recognized the devil as a conscious being, similar to himself. 

the next day the man received a white letter and a letter that had been white, but was now grey because it looked like it had been dragged and rubbed on the street. the grey letter looked as though it was the same stationary as the white letters, only, perhaps the angel had written it with his left hand. 

the letter was a list of bad things that he did, namely that he had sympathy for a devil, which was disagreeable to the councils in heaven. 

the man was confused, for he would have assigned that as a virtuous thought. 

he went for a walk, and after coming home and having a glass of water, he went for another longer walk. he had many thoughts that day.

the next day he received a white and a grey letter, and also, for the first time in a week a black letter as well, which simply said “thank you.” 

now the man was very confused.

the man continued with his life being confused. he wrote to a friend, who sent a green letter in response. he mailed a letter to another friend, and received a yellow letter in the mail. he recieved a multicolored advertisement in the mail. he got a bill that was written in black ink and had a green logo. he recieved a black letter that contained a free credit card (with restrictions). he even happened to find a spider in his mailbox. 

one day he stopped the mailwoman and had a chat. he talked about the irregularity of colors in his life, and she mentioned that she had been experiencing the same problem, only it occured to her in the form of billboard signs. she said that she at first believed that these billboards were revelations from god, signs that he had somehow been speaking through, or maybe he had been painting over them with paint only she could see. 

the man thought that was similarly weird, and over the course of a few months they continued to talk to one another about the awkwardness of it all. 

I would like to say that they fell in love, but this kind of commiseration doesn’t usually lead to fulfilling relationships. instead they found themselves losing interest, not only in each other, but also in the moral implications of color. white didn’t seem to hold the same kind of meaning that it used to hold. black seemed to feel the same, but the man found himself wearing black more often, really, for no particular reason other than it kept him warmer than other colors that he wore and he liked how it made his skin more human, he supposed. 

the man continued to receive letters in a variety of colors, and the white ones now seemed to be rather biased towards a certain kind of morality that the man had grown skeptical of. 

that afternoon the man sat down and began to write a correspondence to, what he had imagined were an angel and devil. 

days later he wasn’t sure if he was surprised or expected the letters to be returned unopened. these transcendent figures were not interested in correspondence.

he tried it a few more times, but each time was the same. he only continued to receive the letters that listed the moral results of his actions:

white: you said hello to a rather suicidal young man yesterday. you held a door open for a woman whose athritis was especially bad today. you complimented a woman’s hair. you wrote a poem that someone read on your blog, and that poem really lifted a person’s spirits. 

black: you swore in traffic an

a man for whatever reason started to receive two envelopes in the mail each morning, every day of the week: one white, one black. 

it became apparent to him rather quickly what each letter contained. the white letter contained all the results of his actions that were good. the black letter contained a list of all the results of his actions that were bad. 

at first, the man was very depressed about the black letters, and of course, he was pleased about the good letters. he made efforts to increase the length of the white letters and, hoped to one day never receive any black letters. 

one day he received only a white letter. at first he was happy to know that he has accomplished his moral goal. but then he worried that maybe the devil who delivered it was sick that day. then he began to wonder if devils got sick, wonder if it would be moral to serve the devil some soup to help him feel better. he mostly began to wonder this because he recognized the devil as a conscious being, similar to himself. 

the next day the man received a white letter and a letter that had been white, but was now grey because it looked like it had been dragged and rubbed on the street. the grey letter looked as though it was the same stationary as the white letters, only, perhaps the angel had written it with his left hand. 

the letter was a list of bad things that he did, namely that he had sympathy for a devil, which was disagreeable to the councils in heaven. 

the man was confused, for he would have assigned that as a virtuous thought. 

he went for a walk, and after coming home and having a glass of water, he went for another longer walk. he had many thoughts that day.

the next day he received a white and a grey letter, and also, for the first time in a week a black letter as well, which simply said “thank you.” 

now the man was very confused.

the man continued with his life being confused. he wrote to a friend, who sent a green letter in response. he mailed a letter to another friend, and received a yellow letter in the mail. he recieved a multicolored advertisement in the mail. he got a bill that was written in black ink and had a green logo. he recieved a black letter that contained a free credit card (with restrictions). he even happened to find a spider in his mailbox. 

one day he stopped the mailwoman and had a chat. he talked about the irregularity of colors in his life, and she mentioned that she had been experiencing the same problem, only it occured to her in the form of billboard signs. she said that she at first believed that these billboards were revelations from god, signs that he had somehow been speaking through, or maybe he had been painting over them with paint only she could see. 

the man thought that was similarly weird, and over the course of a few months they continued to talk to one another about the awkwardness of it all. 

I would like to say that they fell in love, but this kind of commiseration doesn’t usually lead to fulfilling relationships. instead they found themselves losing interest, not only in each other, but also in the moral implications of color. white didn’t seem to hold the same kind of meaning that it used to hold. black seemed to feel the same, but the man found himself wearing black more often, really, for no particular reason other than it kept him warmer than other colors that he wore and he liked how it made his skin more human, he supposed. 

the man continued to receive letters in a variety of colors, and the white ones now seemed to be rather biased towards a certain kind of morality that the man had grown skeptical of. 

that afternoon the man sat down and began to write a correspondence to, what he had imagined were an angel and devil. 

days later he wasn’t sure if he was surprised or expected the letters to be returned unopened. these transcendent figures were not interested in correspondence.

he tried it a few more times, but each time was the same. he only continued to receive the letters that listed the moral results of his actions:

white: you said hello to a rather suicidal young man yesterday. you held a door open for a woman whose athritis was especially bad today. you complimented a woman’s hair. you wrote a poem that someone read on your blog, and that poem really lifted a person’s spirits. 

black: you swore in traffic and a child overheard you. you cheated the cashier several dollars and the poor retired cashier was unable to pay rent as a result. you decided not to tip your waitress who has a husband at home with cancer. 

d a child overheard you. you cheated the cashier several dollars and the poor retired cashier was unable to pay rent as a result. you decided not to tip your waitress who has a husband at home with cancer.