There is something magical going on at the Sellwood Post Office

I hold the door open for a woman before walking inside those 100 year old double doors into the lobby. They recently removed the vending machine that sold stamps, so I must wait in line to buy a 41 cent, first class piece of postage for my parking ticket rebuttal, which is being sent to the city of Santa Monica via a Los Angeles mailing address.

Five people wait ahead of me and nearly snake out towards the lobby. Of the four employee stalls, one is empty, two are occupied by employees who are not assisting customers and one filled by a working employee. Despite busy people antsy for service, there is not even the slightest bit if hurriedness in the hearts of these employees. There are no decorations on the walls except a small partition with five old photographs bundled together and the rest of the building covered in eggshell white walls and pegboard. Three more people walk inside.

"Which kind of stamps would you like?" asks the employee to the elderly woman at the counter. "Oh, let's see," she responds before looking through the manila folder containing stamps of animals, superheroes and notable minorities. While she is deciding which duck stamps she wants, four more people enter. A guy near the back of the line begins tapping angrily on his box of eBay things. A few more people enter as the elderly woman finishes her transaction.

The employee calls out "Next" like all these people forget we were in line. As I walk towards the counter I overhear the grumbling of frustrated patrons. "What can I do for you today?" asks the postal inspector with salt and pepper hair and a broom for a mustache. "One stamps sir," I say laying out my 41 cents. "Do you know which stamp you'd like?" he retorts. "No, can I see the selection."

Two people walk out out those hundred year old double doors.
1