On the way to Seattle yesterday, for the event at University BOokstore (which now, by the way, has several signed copies of "Midnight at Spanish Gardens", for those who might be interested in this information...) we were driving out of our neighbourhood through a heavily wooded area which was more than just lightly touched with fall. A yellow maple leaf flew off one of the trees. kamikaze-style, and smacked into our windshield - and bounced off, and then got hooked onto the windhshield wiper, and sat there flapping like a miniature golden flag.
"Hello, leaf," we said.
"It wants to be a star," I said, Dooing Story as usual. "It's sick of languishing out here in the back country so it just hitched a ride to the nearest Big SMoke."
"Do you think it might still make it on the freeway?" rdeck said.
I didn't think it would, once the higher speed kicked in. But it did.
I didn't think it would stay on as far as Mount Vernon. But it did. Even with the wipers being used intermittently in the on-again-off-again drizzle.
I didn't think it would stay on by Everett. But it did. And by this stage I was rooting for it. I would not take this thing off the car. it would go where it wanted to go and I would take it there, proudly.
We pulled into the parking lot of the University Bookstore, and the leaf was still there. I left it gracing the windhsield wiper and went into the store for the event.
An hour and a half later, we came out after it was all over. It was full dark, the parking lot mostly empty and orengey-gold in the light of the streetlamps. The leaf was still there as we pulled out the parking lot... but then it started to drizzle a bit more heavily, and I turned on the wipsrs to intermittent - and somewhere within a block or three of the store, in the U district of Seattle, the adventurous leaf had finally dislodged itself from its secure hook on the wiper and sailed off somewhere into the night.
I'm still making up stories about it. Perhaps it was just a natural philosopher that wanted access to an accredited University; and maybe it really WAS just a bright and shiny starlet "GOTTA DANCE!" kind of character that simply wanted to be in the big city for its chance at fame and fortune. I'm just going to hope that somehow, somewhere, a legend was born and the trees will whisper about the wayward child that took its fate into its, um, hands one gray fall day and took off into the mean streets... to find its destiny in the drizzle-damp glistening asphalt labyrinths.
Godspeed, little yellow leaf.
(oh, and the reading went pretty well. One lady told me I had made her tear up by what I had read. My work there was done... )