from 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

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Time always passed slowly on Sunday mornings. p 115

Dear Santa,

Yes, it’s been awhile since you’ve heard from someone in our household. Years ago there would have been LEGOs on the list, games for the Nintendo, transformers, followed by the Dr. Who anything era and clothing for today’s dapper young man.

I wasn’t sure if parents were allowed to write to you, but then I thought “What have I got to lose?” You, Santa, are magic. You are amazing. You travel around the world in a night, you know the secrets most boys and girls have hidden in their hearts. When I was young I asked for a puppy, every year. I’m sure you remember those notes; first scribbled in crayon, then printed in pencil and finally written in pen in my best cursive handwriting. Some of the other items lower down on the list might have changed, but the top slot was always reserved for my fondest wish. Every year I went to sleep hoping that I would wake up to puppy breath and puppy kisses. It wasn’t until I went away to college that I got my first dog. In fact, my roommate got that black puppy for me from the humane society the very first night we moved into our apartment off campus. I can still picture her holding up this eight week old German Shepherd/Border Collie cross as she climbed out of her truck. But you probably know all that. Even though it wasn’t anywhere near Christmas, I don’t doubt that you had a hand in helping my roommate choose that pup.

As you probably also know, she was a great dog and lived with me for 13 years. There have been a few dogs to follow since Bronte died, each one with their own brand of spunk and adorableness. For the longest time we were a two dog household, until T insisted that he could go without the other presents on his list if we could just adopt this Corgi/Jack Russell mix. How could I possibly have refused him? So here we are now with three dogs just starting to enter their elder years. They move a bit slower and love spending time on the bed with us. In fact this morning they were all in bed after eating a quick breakfast. It was very hard to leave them all, but Sundays in December are never idle. They are filled with baking and making, deadlines and parties. Today was no exception. But I have this fantasy. It involves sleeping in on a Sunday. M gets up before me and brings me a cup of coffee and a sticky bun. We lounge with the newspaper and then sit companionably amongst the dogs reading our current books. I don’t think that’s too much to ask for, Santa, do you? I think it’s reasonable and within the realm of possibility. And relatively inexpensive as far as these things go.

But here’s the thing, what I really want, is to do all of these things in our own house. After twenty years of renting we’re finally edging closer to moving to our own home. M and I have been looking and I think we’ve found the perfect place. It’s an old schoolhouse, and it’s red, your favorite color. Even though it’s been empty for a long time, the owner doesn’t seem interested in selling. Perhaps she’s still attached or doesn’t feel like now is the right time to sell. Perhaps you could work your magic on her, Santa. Please.

If you could make this happen, I would be eternally grateful. Don’t worry about getting it down the chimney or putting it under the tree. It doesn’t even need a bow. If you could just give me a sign that it’s all going to work out, that’s all I really need. I believe in you Santa. That year you had MM and R send me the pottery wheel that I was longing for without me even telling them it was on my list. That’s when I knew you were real.

Please tell Mrs. Claus hello. I hope you both get a chance to rest on December 26th. May I recommend sticky buns and coffee in bed?

Sincerely,

~b

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