"Pick a hand! Pick a hand!" she said as soon as I opened up my front door.
She was giddy with excitement with two hands hidden behind her back.
"The left one," I said before changing my mind. "No, the right. The right! No... no. The left! Make it the left!"
I watched her for a moment, while her shoulders bounced up and down shuffling between hands before pulling out a frozen chocolate covered banana for me. She wasn't wearing her usual makeup and her hair looked almost like schlack to her head. As I extended my hand to accept it from her, my eyes rivoted to her dark cave-like smile.
She caught my eye contact and quickly slapped her hand up to her mouth. "I've been violently ill with the flu and threw up my teeth this morning. I had one hand grabbin' onto my hair jus' like this to hold my hair up and I had this other hand flushin' the toilet and I jus' wasn't quick enough to grab my uppers before they swirled down the drain!"
She then smiled an upsidedown smile to show me her unhappiness. When I saw a few lower teeth just barely sinking up above her gums, I suddenly felt like I was about to get ill myself.
"Pick a hand!" She shouted again. "Pick a hand. Nuthin' but a hand!" From her other hand, she pulled out the yellow box. "After you eat my delicious treat, you're gonna wanna make yer own, so here's a gift!"
She was a neighbor I hardly knew.
I barely said the words: "thank you" before she got a worried look to her face, cupped her hands to her mouth and ran toward her home.
I watched her run down the sidewalk as I closed the door. I took a deep breath and felt ashamed for what I was about to do.
I took one look at the chocolate covered banana and another at the box and I knew only too well, not to hold on to something I knew I would never eat. I tossed them both away.
Gift-giving. It's really in the timing. Had she felt well, I wouldn't have thought anything about eating the banana she had handed to me. But now, I wasn't able to get past the thought of even keeping the box. Except to snap this picture of it that looks like perhaps the shelf date has expired years ago.