"Who is it?" I yelled through the door.
"Federal Express." A woman's voice.
"Leave it on the doorstep," I said.
"Someone needs to sign for it."
"Shit," I muttered. I yanked one of the drapes down from the living room window and wrapped myself up like a mummy. But when I tried to get to the door I realized it was a mistake to wrap my legs together. I fell to the floor and struggled to move, looking like a giant pulsating larva. How did mummies manage? Apparently they wrapped their legs separately. "Just a minute," I hollered. I rolled over and over, hoping to unwrap myself, but I was rolling in the wrong direction. It was like when you're undoing the twist tie on a loaf of bread, and eventually you realize you're twisting the wrong way, which means you've doubled the number of twists you have to undo. I was now twice as wrapped-up in the drape. I couldn't move.
It was then that I realized the door wasn't locked anyway. "It's open!" I yelled.
She came in. She looked down at me, a human head protruding from a giant tube like a man being swallowed by an anaconda.
"Don't ask," I said.
"Lemme guess. Performance art. You're a butterfly emerging from--"
"Is there someone here who can sign for this package? Someone whose arms aren't inside a cocoon? Or should I stick the pen in your mouth?"
"I'd prefer that you just get me out of this. Can you roll me toward the couch?"
"Hmm. I can see the top of your shoulder. No shirt? What are you wearing under your wrap?"
"Well . . . Nothing. But--"
"Ewwwww. What's in the package, your anatomically correct blow-up doll?"
"I assume it's a manuscript from some semi-literate hack author," I told her.
"Says here it's from someone named Grisham."
"No, I better open it," she said. "It could be good." She unwrapped the package.
"This is highly irregular," I said. "Do you normally open--"
"It's called The Ambulance Chaser. I'll read it to you."
"I've died and gone to hell," I moaned. "It's the only explanation."
"He'd been a partner in the biggest law firm in Washington; now he was reduced to this. Les Highbottom stopped his client as they were about to enter the courtroom. 'Here, put this on,' he said, handing the woman a neck brace.
"'What for?' Nancy Fester asked. 'My neck's fine. I'm suing him for keying my car while I was in the mall.'
"'Trust me, wearing this is worth an extra half million with the jury, no matter what the defendant's charged with.'"
"Stop reading," I said. "I can't take any more. Grisham writing about small claims court is like Hemingway writing about mud wrestling. Just leave me here in my misery, will you? But first, turn me so I'm facing the TV. I don't want to miss Edyta Sliwinska's dance."