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Monday, December 25, 2023

A John Saxon Christmas

I made it to the underground mall in Leaf Rapids at the last possible minute. It was gargantuan but nearly deserted, a seemingly bottomless pit of escalators, raised gardens, water features, hanging chandeliers, and storefronts in every dimension. I hadn't bought anything for Dad, and I was in a panic. Now I was riding one of those endless escalators up to a midlevel strip of stores, hoping to find something thoughtful and appropriate. 

"You've already gotten his gift, you know," said a voice behind me. I turned. 

"John Saxon?" I blurted, for there he was. 

"You don't need to get him a gift. He's with me, remember?"

The truth deflated me. I just nodded and leaned against the escalator rail as we rose. 

"He invited me over to watch you and Sylvia opening gifts together last night, enjoying the lights and music. And we were with your mom and Sean, too, in Leduc. And we'll be there tomorrow, when you guys get together."

"So you're getting along?" I asked, somewhat bewildered; for Dad had always irrationally hated John Saxon, though he'd never met the man. 

Saxon smiled. "Your dad never really hated anyone," he said. "We're pals now." 

Not really understanding why, I felt immense relief. 

"Just keep enjoying your life," Saxon said. "That's what he likes to see." 

"Is he still angry?" I asked, for my father was always angry when he came to me in dreams. 

"Only sometimes," Saxon said. "It's not forever." 

We escalated in companionable silence, and then I transitioned back to the real world, like a ghost slipping away from home. 

1 comment:

Sean Woods said...

Must be dusty in here--wipes tear from eye--