The UPS truck swung into the yard, setting the dogs off on a merry chase from window to door, complaining loudly. I was in the middle of pouring my thoughts out to a friend on email and didn’t want to be interrupted. As I hit the “send” button, it occurred to me that he was probably delivering the bag of FOCUS Biscuit horse supplement. I promised a friend I would help her market this really interesting new product. It helps the brain produce Serotonin, allowing for a calm sense of focus. It is all natural and safe for people as well as animals. At this point in my hot afternoon, I was fading and thought, “I’ll be my own guinea pig and pop one of those cookies.”
I headed out through the garage and looked for a good-sized box in the UPS delivery man’s usual drop spot. Nothing. I wandered around to the front of the house thinking perhaps he ventured onto the deck to leave whatever it was. Nothing. As I turned back, puzzled, I spotted the thin brown package leaning against the trellis. It was from the publisher. As I carried it into the house, scenes flashed through my mind. I need someone to photograph me opening the box! I need a friend to be here to witness the miracle of birth with me. I need to be alone. I took the book, still packaged, into the bathroom. It sat on the counter like a Christmas present beneath the tree. After a shower, I cradled it on my jumble of dirty clothes and carried it to the kitchen.
Images of the cover filled my mind, seen so far only as disembodied from the text of the book. But as I lifted the brown cardboard box, I knew it would be all in one piece for the first time. “I’ll just pretend this is a book I ordered from Amazon,” I told myself as I filled a glass with ice and tea. I carried it out to the birds and the sun of the back deck, slid a finger over the perforations and opened the box. My book slipped out, shiny and whole, smelling like words.