It arrives on a steamy Thursday morning. The address at the top tells you what's inside, and you want to rip it open. But then you remember your wife, toiling away in her office at The Media School, fighting for truth and justice and journalism, and you realize that to breach this package and behold its contents without her would mean the end of all joy, and possibly your life. So you drive it down to campus and carry it to her, cradling it in your arms like a baby.
She tears the bubble wrapping open, and there they are, the first copies. They are swimming in a cloud of new book smell. The pages flip through your fingers. The cover has a pleasing texture, slightly rough to the touch, and the photo of your baby daughter, sitting naked on the white sand of Fort DeSoto Beach, facing out toward the gulf, has somehow taken on the aura of a dream.