Wait

This suburban freeway off-ramp is surrounded by evergreen trees, I don’t know what kind. I can’t help noticing how young the trees look. I’m guessing that they’re younger than me, but again, I don’t know what I’m talking about.

Cars are backed up here, so I’m waiting. The traffic in front of me creeps ahead a couple of car lengths, and I follow, quick with the clutch because the car behind me is close and I don’t want to roll back into it.

I didn’t pick the leaves off my windshield when I abandoned my valuable parking space earlier. Those leaves freed themselves during the first couple of miles of the trip. The last one I noticed came unstuck from behind the windshield wipers as I was driving out onto the 520 bridge.

There are leaves here at the off-ramp – pale yellow leaves – drifting around in the air above the freeway, caught by some system of weather and currents from the steady freeway traffic. They’re waiting to fall.

The present that I’m referring to is yesterday, late in the morning, when it wasn’t raining and such things as leaves that are lighter than air were possible.

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