a priori/a posteriori

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Keeping Santa Company

There are times that I wish I was an artist.

I wish I could draw.  Or paint.  So I could capture Vanessa's beauty.

Not so much for the world to see it.  More so that she could look at herself, and see it.

And the world too, I guess.  I think it would be a better world, if everyone could see what I see.

I remember the scene in "The Titanic," which I borrowed from Scott Banchero so I could look at the boobs.  I was in like 8th grade, I think. 

I still remember.  It was 2 VHS tapes.  It was a really long movie.  But it had boobs.  And it was still PG-13, somehow.  Somebody in Hollywood must have wanted to make some money.

I think he drew her.  And that was somehow erotic.

Then I remember watching "As Good As It Gets," and the gay guy with the dog ended up drawing Helen Hunt.  And she said "What we had was BETTER THAN SEX!!" and yelled that at Jack Nicholson.
So part of me has always wanted to be that artist.  The artist that draws a woman and makes her feel like a vase of flowers being painted by Georgia O'Keefe, or a sunset being drawn by Jesus, or whatever.

My hands deceive me, I guess.  So I draw with my words.

I write just to capture it.  A mother wrapping gifts, as she tells stories of her mother hiring a clown to cheer her up.  A parent creating an alternate universe where dreams come true, no matter how crazy the dream.

And acting like she's making coffee.  Acting like it's no big deal.

Unraveling rolls of wrapping paper like scrolls with history's secrets.  Cutting with her right hand, because the world can fly to the moon, but can't make scissors that work for left-handed Santas.

Pinky hold it down, thumb hold it in place, other index pulls the tape, thumb presses.

Tape cut.

Bow, sharpie, toss.


Cylinder now.  Cup for the nephew.  Around and up, three fingers hold, other hand tape, other hand tape, other hand tape.

Tape, press, tape, press, tape, press.  Turn.  Tape, press.
Bend, fold.  Bend, fold.  Bend, fold.   Blue with white snowflakes.

Bow, sharpie, toss.


World's secrets unraveled, Turtle helmet measured, righty scissors, tag removed, stories of protected heads.

Better safe than sorry.  Especially with ninjas.

Running low on bows, she says, with about 15 left.

Santa is several steps ahead. 
Scooter next, with the cat on a pile of laundry, by the bathroom door.  The room is chaos, part Santa's workshop, part boring bedroom. 

Scooter wrapped, before she notices her back. 
Standing now.  No more twisting.  Biggest box yet.  For the smallest gift (a classic trick).

The perfect wrap.  Side-in fold, side-in fold, top-up fold, tape-tape-tape,

flip and repeat,

Gold bow,


and in thirty seconds,

a fifteen year-old daughter

just turned 5.

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