This package had been left for her with a friend. She took it home and unwrapped it. She supposed this was meant to be a reconciliation present.
She studied it. She turned it over. She set it down on a table. Handsome it was, wrapped and unwrapped.
She saw that this gift had nothing to do with her. This, like the giver’s other gifts, most of them, was an expression of his self-regard. Such a handsome man. Wrapped and unwrapped.
Wrapped Again, 2006, oil on canvas. Martha Mayer Erlebacher, 1937-2013, American. Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
She wrapped it again.
Younger, she would have allowed it to work its way to a hiding place in her home.
But now she placed it carefully in the rubbish bin, wrapped again. Sorry, she said to the package. Don’t be silly, she thought to herself: it isn’t sentient.
She had only one more thought about it: no hard edges, she thought. Watch out for your hard edges, she thought. She rubbed her forearms firmly and then
went to make herself a pot of tea. For comfort.
Tea with McVittie’s digestive biscuits, the original, the best.
As in her childhood when every gift, almost every gift, which she received was of an alert and generous love.