It was almost exactly 7:15 a.m. as yours truly dropped the letter through the slot for the outgoing mail in the lobby of the building. Back when substitutes carried the mail at one house because in it’s wisdom the post office had cut it into a place for part time trainees who went on to better things, the mail carrier came at most any time from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. If something is not in the mail by midnight there’s a doubt about it going out the next day. The regular carrier could be sick or on vacation, leading to a substitute on overtime.
Regardless, since the usual state of exhaustion prevented getting the mail piece together before very early in the morning (it included money, and a clear head’s important when dealing with money, so there had to be some sleep beforehand), 7:15 a.m. was the best that could be done. The regular mail carrier comes much later. There was a passing thought about going downstairs again later to see if he did come later (that’s how bad it is – the mail service “back then” was erratic for years creating great inconvenience).
Upon starting to take the thing downstairs, the thought was, there will be no one in the hall, but will there be anyone downstairs? There’s a sense of “all alone in a big empty office building” if there is not, although somewhere around there are a hundred or more people. After sliding out of the elevator and turning around, a mild shock hit as the wall where the bulletin board had been was seen without it. Such is evidence of people around, even if not right there then. Since not a soul was in sight, it was more empty than ever. (Must remember: no bulletin board.)
Things can have a strange importance.