The large white envelope is propped against the lobby wall, waiting. We search for the keys and stumble through the open door; after work drinks turned into late night drinks. I know that the envelope is addressed to me before reading the label. As I bend to pick up the package Paul pushes me playfully causing me to tumble.
“No, don’t. I can’t bend this envelope.” I shout; half serious, half laughing.
Indeed, I can see from my vantage point on the carpeted lobby floor that the envelope is marked with “Do not Bend” over and over again. I stand up, pick up the envelope and steady myself. Paul looks at me devilishly.
“No, now I’m serious.” I say. He can read it in my eyes: Don’t mess with me. This package has travelled through time to reach me. I won’t let it suffer more damage in my hands tonight.
We make our way up the stairs and step into our darkened condo. The moonlight falls through the open blinds painting horizontal shadows against the walls. I want to open it now, but I’ll wait until morning; when I can appreciate it fully. I place the envelope on the kitchen counter and peer through the blinds at the moon and the stars.
“Hello little boy!” He has glasses and a small white pointy beard and moustache; like Salvador Dali’s. He is wearing khaki’s, a white shirt and a black bow tie.
“What on earth are you doing?” He says.
I open my eyes, smile and say “I’m looking at stars, Pappy!”
When I was young, about five years old, I would press the heels of my hands against my closed eyes so that the pressure would cause bursts of light to form at the corner and travel to the center of my eyelids; fascinated by the lights appearing from nowhere.
“Great heavens above, there are stars in your head? Come over here and let me show you something.” My grandfather says.