Adventures with UPS Man

by Roxane Gay

N.B.: My beloved UPS Man is very good at his job and represents his company very well and he brings me things and I love him.

I have a very special, very intense, very secret, very unrequited and ongoing relationship with the very attractive UPS Man who brings me packages nearly every day. I love UPS Man most during the spring and summer when he wears his brown polyester shorts and he speeds up the hill toward my building, music blaring — often classic rock. When he steps out, his thigh muscles flex and I think, “What can brown do for you?”

I have many answers to that question. Most of said answers involve horizontal surfaces.

I love UPS Man during the winter, too, when he wears his brown slacks. The slacks always look neatly pressed, and he wears no winter coat because he doesn’t need any protection from the elements. UPS Man is an active and hot-blooded man. He has nice boots, too. They leave footprints on the walkway and when he is gone. Sometimes, I put my feet in his footprints and it’s like we’re connecting in a very special way.

To be fair, I receive a significant number of packages — mostly books — on a daily basis. I also live on the second floor. I am not easy to love. Sometimes, I think this affects my relationship with the UPS Man, but I believe we will make it through the fire.

On a good day, the UPS Man drops off the packages and pounds on my door or rings the bell to let me know a bounty awaits. His loud knock often startles me, but I’m pretty sure the force of his knock is his way of letting me know he loves me too. I run to the door and watch through the glass of my front door as he mounts his mighty brown steed — I mean, truck — and drives away from me until the next time. Parting is sweet, sweet sorrow. If I’m feeling cute, I open the door (probably not wearing a bra) as UPS Man lingers in the driveway. I lean down to get my packages and grin at him.

I do this to let him know, “All this could be yours.”

There are times when the UPS Man doesn’t knock or ring the bell so that when I open the front door, there are surprises waiting. This is so charming. It’s as if UPS Man wanted to brighten my day with a lovely surprise and instead of flowers, he offers polyurethane envelopes and cardboard boxes. I find these packages to be nearly as romantic as flowers.

Other times, UPS Man is in a hurry and he basically launches packages at my front door as he runs by. This is exciting because I never know how the packages will be splayed at the front door. I study the patterns like tea leaves, trying to discern the future and past through this passive aggression. When he does this, I wonder what he is like when he has angry sex. I bet he’s really good at that.

When I travel, which is often, UPS Man makes little art installations with my packages. He is a very talented artist. He is good with is hands, is what I am saying.

Once in a while, the UPS Man is out sick or taking a vacation day. Or cheating on me, I don’t know. There are many possibilities. The substitute is nothing like UPS Man. He or she often won’t leave my packages the way the UPS Man does. Instead, UPS Sub leaves that impersonal sticker, informing me that they will be back at a later date. The only consolation I take from this is the possibility that it might be UPS Man bringing my packages to their rightful place.

I have loved him for years now. I often document our love on Twitter. The narrative follows.

August 2011

Thought the UPS Man was bringing me zappos. The world is a little hollower because it was some other package.

March 2012

My UPS guy BLASTS his music in his sexy van and his sexy uniform and he brings me things. I love him.

April 2012

Lord y’all. The UPS Man(hot) is training a another UPS Man(hotter), and they just came to bring me something.

May 2012

UPS Man is a. looking spectacular and b. rocking some serious Eagles.

It is like UPS Man gets hotter every day. Bless summer for those adorable brown shorts.

Things started getting tense as review copies began pouring in, but my love was unwavering.

December 2012

I forgot mail was delivered on Christmas Eve. My mail and UPS guys are getting cranky though. I get… a lot of books in the mail.

May 2013

I think the UPS guy is sending me a message here.

July 2013

Between the mailman and the UPS man, I am not sure who is saltier about the number of packages I get.

Hahaha UPS guy just LAUNCHED some packages at my front door. I love him.

August 2013

Also, today, the UPS guy left the book packages about five feet from the door. His animosity grows but his thighs are still amazing.

September 2013

Hahahaha yessss, the UPS guy strolled by the door, whistling, and LAUNCHED the book packages at the glass. I see you, bro. I see you.

Our relationship continues. Our future is swollen with possibility. I continue to come up with answers to the question, “What can brown do for you?”

March 2014

Feel like things are getting extra tense with hot UPS guy. I was getting in my car when he arrived this morning. He gave me a long stare.

Who knows what the next package will bring?

Previously: Interview With My Mom, One Who Stayed Home | Adventures with Gym Man

Roxane Gay is the author of An Untamed State, out this May, and Bad Feminist, out this August. The UPS Man will bring you a copy of both or either — and yes, she is a little shameless.