“Second letter this week,” Coach Dan mumbled as he slapped Josef’s letter into the pile of mail crooked into his arm. His coach had been sending letters frequently to the Odd-B ever since his former student had started the Bark Bay fencing four years ago. It was always letters, Josef having a paranoia about government surveliance born of his long years under totalitarian rule.
“They can open mail too,” his students would often remind him.
“You know when mail opened,” he’d reply. “Tap phone, email — easy to do without detection. Not mail.” Nobody appeared to believe that challenging his logic was worthwhile.
Coach Dan took the elevator to the third floor, turned right as soon as the doors opened and walked robotically to his apartment door. He didn’t count the steps this time, but knew it always took 14 steps to get to B306, unless he had to maneuver around some person or obstacle.
He walked into his apartment, took two steps and threw his mail over the back of the sofa that faced the entertainment center. He removed his winter jacket, discarded that over the sofa as well, then walked into the kitchen, opening the refrigerator door and retrieving a can of juice.
He walked into the living area, sat down on the couch between his jacket and today’s mail. Flitting through the mail, he retrieved Josef’s letter, and holding it up in the air as if it were a medal, said, “Well Josef, let’s see what you’ve got to say for yourself today.”