Santa on Vacation?

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Photo by Roman

— Santa Claus!

The fat man whirled with a finger to his lips.

— Shush! If Mrs. Claus finds out I’m here, there’ll be hell to pay. She thinks I’m in contract negotiations with the Elves Union. Not another word, not to anyone, or you won’t even get coal in your Christmas sock. There’ll be coal ash under your tree and your home will be an EPA superfund site.

— Will there be a strike?

— Of course not! We settled-up in an afternoon. It was mostly a matter of the elves trying to figure out what the elves wanted; they’re never prepared.

— What did they get?

— Anything they wanted. They’re elves for Pete’s Sake! You don’t mess with them when they’re on a solidarity kick. And, anyway, it’s for Christmas; why would anyone deny them? Now if you’ll excuse me, we’ve got tickets to see Elvish Pressley and I gotta go.

— But what are–

Not a word! Remember!

— Yip

Back when I was some 40 pounds heavier, “Santa!” was a typical wise-guy cry, at least seasonally, though my impression is that it was as much the beard and the coat as it was the weight because during the warm months of the year “ZZ Top!” would take the lead.

But I have indeed threatened coal ash when fingered as Santa. “ZZ Top” usually just got a denying shake of the head with a smile but on one occasion, the bloke was serious. That was creepy.

Before the COVID, these encounters would happen several times each year, mostly in good humor though repetitious. Even so, children, be careful what you wish for when you wish to be a star.

Post Script: It hadn’t happened in a while, but this last Sunday I was fingered as Jerry Garcia. But wait, Garcia is gratefully dead. Do I look that bad?

Night Lights 6

Photo / graphic by Roman.

Where am I? My situational awareness is absent, reduced to warmth… comfort… bed… and as I begin to awaken I seem to rotate within some delimited space, falling toward a maximum probability until: I fit! That’s right. It’s night. I’m in bed and not at all ready for the day, which it is not. If you love me, I will sleep.

Yip

In the Time of Feeling Fragile

Photo by Roman.

I became ill several days ago. Oh no… I’ll not burden you with a mantra chant of symptoms: coincidental or otherwise, imaginary or all too real, amusing or gross.

So what is wrong and what of it?

How can I tell you? I mean… I do not know. Could be one thing. Could be another. Could be several things. A label would be idle speculation.

And so what of it…

Simply that it slowed me down… Yet that only made a small difference in what I’ve accomplished. No, this is not a triumph. Rather it is that I was already moving that slow.

–Yip

As If Shading Its Eyes

in search of…

Photo by Roman.

This was back in the paleodigital…

The volunteer coordinator briefed me: “She’s odd; she’s a medium.”

When I called for Madame N., there was a long silence on the line.

Then she replied: “Don’t worry. Someday you’ll find her.”

Alas. I wanted only her vote.

–Yip

Achoo!

Photo by Roman.

Oh! The glamour is not working!

Spurned by hummingbirds, absent flies and beetles, waiting for bees like waiting for Elijah… it shakes a spray of pollen tumbling down the wind that sparkle like tinkerbell magic… sadly, shyly, hopefully… so that life goes on…

–Yip

Here flies the banner…

Photo by Roman.

… of the Frost Queen and Her consort,
the Earl of Autumn.

They say Her Worship is the polar bear’s pajamas. But the Mister, He’s not so much, being Her mister-right-now, not mister-right. It’s a sinister business, if I may beg your pardon, but I predict She’ll be with Winter before long, Whomever that may be, as sure as the world spins.

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Photo by Roman.

As delicate as a silhouette against a shade, it draws the eye. Are we voyeurs to witness a leaf slowly shutting down, its life draining away to the greater tree, dreaming a blaze of sun-burnt color? Is this a guilty intimacy or a sacred sharing? Or is it after all only tomorrow is another year?

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Photo by Roman.

A drama fruit, a diva fruit, the apple of my eye?

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Photo by Roman.

The social gossip of courtiers… we heard it on the grapevine… which way’s the main stem… it’s the happening scene… the carnival crowd, grifters and peasants… in this strange, strange land where even the area codes are alien and beg repeating.

–Yip