My care package arrives. Everything is wrapped in Giant Eagle bags, but on top are four red and brown, brittle fall leaves. An oak leaf, a maple leaf, and the other two are from a tree whose name I can’t remember. There is my dad’s favorite mix of Nicholas coffee–Melitta blend–two DVDs, The Nightmare Before Christmas and an anime that Emily must be responsible for. A pair of knitting needles in a size I already own, but that have a pretty twisted ribbon of pink in the clear plastic, and of course, the candy corn that I had requested. It is not a testament to my willpower that I haven’t opened a bag yet. It is a testament to my goldfish-like short-term memory –I keep forgetting that I have it.
But I immediately enjoy a wondorously black cup of coffee. The other teachers laugh at me a little, maybe because it’s funny and novel I can’t stop smiling, although they didn’t see my face in that first moment, when I fingered the leaves that are so familiar it seems inconcievable to me that they are not outside the window right now, but everything is still green here.