Saturday, December 25, 2004
My Best Christmas Ever...
Might of written about this before. I know that I have, but I think that it was in one of my notebooks. Maybe I wrote about it in a magazine or school paper. Somewhere.
Back in the day. When I was young. When the top of my head probably came to my fathers hip - my father and I went down the street to the Xmas tree lot. This was a REAL lot. One of the ones where you actually picked a tree and a bundled up gnarly neanderthalic man sawed it off for you and lugged it to your car. Not one of the drugstore parking lot lots. Something that you didn't do in combination with grocery shopping.
It was cold. But Southern California cold. So that means, like...60 degrees. My father and I had trudged deeper and deeper into this mini-forest looking for a nice, full tree to take home. I don't know where my older brother was. Probably playing Atari or watching football. Definitely not dating girls. My brother was a very late bloomer.
We found one. Not a girl or a late bloomer, but a great-looking tree off in the distance. Looked huge to me. Gigantic. As we approached it, I realized that my father wasn't around anymore. He was behind me, crouched down on one knee and had his hand placed on something by the ground. I crunched back to where my father was and heard him speaking in a strange voice. A tiny, soft voice. My father's eyes were misty. He had stepped on a baby rabbit. It was probably no bigger than my hand and was jerking spasmodiacally on a blanket of pine needles. My father was softly saying that he was sorry. I'm so sorry, so, so sorry...
I kept on looking back from the dying baby rabbit and to my father's now alien face. I couldn't figure out what was more of a shock to me - the little thing dying before me or the glimpse of actual emotion on my father's face.
My father eventually barked an order at me to KEEP ON GOING. I did, because he was my father. My father told me to not stop looking back. I did, because he was my father. I didn't ask any questions. I did, because he was my father.
We got our tree.
Do I remember how it looked that year in the livingroom?
Do I still remember that tiny, twitching rabbit?
Best Christmas ever?
Because I'll remember that one for the rest of my life.