I was sitting overwhelmed with reevaluation when a young Peruvian man came to me and smiled as he handed me a few small leaves. In broken English he described what I should do with one of them. I didn't know what they were and I didn't think to ask. Soon a subtle calm hummed through me and I continued my reflection with some clarity of thought.
Exactly five coca leaves have met my teeth. The final three were savored months apart from one another, because I knew I'd miss them and couldn't imagine running into more when they were gone. I've been right about that for six years.