His eyes popped open, and he could feel his heart beat faster. He turned his head and looked at the alarm clock. 5:45 a.m., fifteen minutes before it was set to go off. He jumped out of bed, turned it off, and went to the window. He peaked out through the blind.
He turned, went to the bathroom, and got into the shower.
It was supposed to snow, a whole foot, so the forecasters were predicting. If he could just get a jump on it, he could do what he was supposed to do, before it was too late.
After showering, he dressed, and went to the kitchen to make his usual breakfast. Thinking better of it, he grabbed a bagel, cut it in half, and slathered some cream cheese from the refrigerator on it.
Taking a bite, he headed for the front door, where he awkwardly put on his coat while holding his bagel in his mouth, then grabbed his keys.
He opened the door, locked it, and shut it behind him. Turning around, he took a couple of steps, and froze. The snow had started falling.
“Already?” he thought. He looked down and saw that it was sticking, too.
He ran the rest of the way to the car, started it, and pulled out onto the road.
“Good,” he said. “The roads are still pretty clear.”
He drove a little faster than he should have, but it was urgent he get to work. The snow fell harder, now. He became increasingly anxious. He approached one of the many stoplights on his way. It turned red, and he pushed on the brakes. He slid just a tiny bit. The light turned green, and he continued. It was hard to see, and he had to slow down.
An hour later, he made it to work. That was longer than the typical forty-five minutes, but not by much. About two inches had fallen.
He rushed inside. He would have to work fast. There was about two hours’ worth of work before he would be able to leave. He knew what to do well, having done it so many times before.
He worked steadily and methodically, without interruption or taking time to talk to anyone, until it was all done. At one point, he looked around. Not too many others had made it, and those that were there seemed to be working without any urgency.
“Don’t they know it’s snowing outside?” he said to himself.
He pulled on some high rubber boots, and left, getting into one of the company trucks. The tires were typically fitted with chains for this kind of weather.
“About five inches. It’s gonna be close.”
He pulled out of the parking lot, and went as fast as he dared. On the main roads, it wasn’t so bad. The plows had already come through. He still couldn’t go as fast as he normally would, and the snow was still coming down quite hard, but he was making good progress.
After a while, he noticed that no one else was on the road. He plowed on.
On he went until he came to the place to turn off the main road. The difference was palpable. The snow plows hadn’t been there, yet. He paused for just a moment, and then continued. He could still tell where the road was, but he was pushing snow with the front of his truck.
He made it a few streets, when the back end of the truck slid a little to one side and stopped moving forward. He put it in reverse. Then put it in drive again. After a couple of tries, he managed to get going.
The second time this happened, he could move no further. He had piled up too much snow in front of him.
He was close, though, and he actually felt good about things. He grabbed his pack, slung it over his shoulder, and began to walk. About eight inches of snow covered the ground by now. He stepped high as he went, but found it manageable.
Finally, he made it to the house. He was happy. A smile crossed his face. It would be hard work, but he was going to make it! He opened the box, and in it, he placed the mail.