Holiday Guest Post by Emmie Mears
Dec09

Holiday Guest Post by Emmie Mears

Once upon a time, in a land far away from sugar plums or even fairies of any kind, there was a little girl who asked Santa for a magic wand. She asked him in a crowded mall, shyly expressing this One Truest Wish to a man whose fake white beard hung down a little too low and who chuckled and winked and promised her that wand. When instead she got a piece of sequinned plastic — she knew real wands really looked like the magic white sticks conductors used to make music materialize from silence — she steeled herself and said a prayer to Santa. Surely Santa would hear her if she told him she understood. After all, he managed to know who was naughty and nice, and she always tried to be nice. The only naughtiness she engaged in was hiding chocolate chips in a cup in her walk-in closet next to the drawings on the wall in red crayon. She knew Santa would hear her. So she told him solemnly in the silence of her apartment bedroom, listening to the thump of the kids in the room upstairs from her, sure Santa would eventually take a break from his frenetic schedule to bring a real magic wand to this little girl. Alaska was pretty close to the North Pole. She’d wait. She waited. When years passed and Christmases came and went and Alaska turned into Oregon and the wet greenness of a Portland winter, she was still waiting. There came more pressing problems than an unfulfilled promise from a jolly man in red. She shared a room with her mother, a single rented slice of a house shared with another family. On the top floor, she could always hear the pitter-pat pitter-pat of the Portland rain. That rain pitter-patted its way through the shingles of the roof and down the edges of beams and girders, into insulation and through, through into drywall and plaster and pooled beneath paint until it puddled and pushed out and down… …and fell onto her bed at night. The rain fell in, and it kept falling. This little girl saw the world as a series of happenings, over which she had little control. She couldn’t stop that drip, but she could move her bed. Christmas was coming, and she knew what to do. She didn’t get to meet Santa that year. No crowded, sweaty malls then. Instead she penned a letter on orange construction paper and sent it to Santa. He might not have brought her the wand he’d promised, but he was the only person for the job. The letter asked,...

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