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holidays, left of center

Santa is left of his boots, his belt, his mittens and his face. He must also feel the burn of holiday preparations and obligations if he forgot his face. It took me nearly a month of wrapping gifts in Santa paper to realize the print job is off. The black ink doesn't align with the rest of the Santa graphic. My conditioned eyes corrected the design when I bought the roll of paper and my holi-daze kept me from noticing the distortion.

Left of center Santa speaks with a sort of exotic, unidentifiable accent (think Swedish Chef and add a gruffness) and he has a high pitched giggle. His eyes cross and one leg is significantly shorter than the other but he seems to have all the time in the world. I asked him why this time of year is so complicated. We all sing about Christmas being the most wonderful time of the year, and it is wonderful. Wonder-filled and crushing.

Another year is nearly under our left of center belts. Our left of center shoes walked many miles; they have taken and missed many steps. Our off-center eyes have crossed with consuming worry and our left of center mittens have reached for the hands of the loved ones we lost.

I can still feel the warm, velvety skin hands of my friend I lost. Her hands squeezed and patted and worked and snapped and clapped and held and cuddled and soothed and healed. She had the most expressive hands. I told Left of Center Santa that I miss my friend and he said, "when you miss her, she is present."

Thank you, Left of Center Santa. What a gift.

Merry (left of center)------> Christmas

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