Santa Claus has resuscitated in our family since my niece Alice (in Wonder*lad) was born. There´s no point on putting up the show for adults who have lost it* – most of us don´t believe in Santa Claus anymore (what a drag that must be).
My dad played the role last year and I played it last night. Not surprisingly, the deed made more for me and it did for my niece.
Follow me, please: it´s almost midnight and I´m dressing up as Mother Christmas (Transvestite Santa Claus, to be more precise) in my father´s wooden house out in the garden. It´s freezing in this shack and I´m in a happy hurry, putting on my white wig, beard and moustache and gluing cotton balls to my eyebrows with scotch tape. There are carpenting tools spread all over the space, potatoes, surf boards, animals´cages for the dreaded visits to the vet and for traveling; there are toys, a bycicle with a rusty basket (vintage, unintentionally cool); dad´s paintings and wooden sculptures beaming with a strange glow only seen at night; echoes of neighbours´voices building memories under their own pine trees: life resumed,
I´m a Freak of Nature Santa Claus – the Nativity Odd Son/Daughter; Mamma Noel with beard, moustache and frightening oversized climbing boots (three sizes above mine). The Creature (it, she or he – we couldn´t figure out) is also wearing red lipstick just to add that extra touch that takes it to impossible realms of freakishness.
Bring Frankenstein back, please!
A red bag full of presents is resting on a stool, waiting for me while I clumsily dress up for a very important performance: expanding my niece´s childhood (her inoccence and Wonder* power), feeding her dreams and faith in Magic* . It doesn´t matter how many stages I´ve stepped on, this is the scariest and most important.
Spice added to the Christmas recipe: she cannot recognize me – that would blow the whole purpose of the operation. Her aunt doesn´t usually dress up like a Transvestite Santa Clau(ish) Frankenstein but my eyes – the ones she loves to stare at and redraw with her little fingers on my skin – can be easily recognized as well as my voice (I sing to her all the time).
Pulling out every gun: what´s my Acting education for if not for saving my life (literally) and for moments like these?!
Here we go: all set: I´m frightening as hell and I´m heading for the swimming pool – as carefully planned – with a huge bag of presents on my back and an altered voice that I know will make me sound like an hysterical chicken. The first steps as Mother Christmas finally happen – I float instead of walking, getting into character. Gingerly; lovingly, I enter that other dimension where I wish my niece will always be able to breathe with absolute confidence.
Lights on, curtain up, GO!
–Ho, ho, ho! – I yelled, arched back, swinging bag outpouring with presents, totally immersed in the most important role of my life (so far).
-Look, look, look! It´s Mother Christmas out there…- Voices seemed to sing in chorus, stuck to the window, pointing at me, the freak of Nature who was bringing the goodies for the child.
Then Magic – the Magic I was there for – happened: HER LOOK: THAT look. Our eyes met and locked within each other´s irises: mine and my niece´s souls. My mother was holding her and the rest of the family was way back, filming the scene. That – suspended in Time – moment was witnessed by me and her. No one else caught it. Her eyes on my eyes, Mother Claus or whatever that was and Alice linked by a golden thread of Light where goblins, fairies and dreams come to life, as naturally as the sun sleeps or rises.
Her little mouth opened – Ali Baba Cave (slowly, glowing with treasures no one knew about) -; her hand covered her opened mouth (oooooooohhhhhhhhh....) and her olive-eyes stretched beyond its natural size and shape. Two seconds: Eternity.
She realized IT existed: she saw It* (we saw it) with her own eyes, for God´s sake! She was sure of it and, because of that, I was sure too.