A collection of magazines and puzzle books. Tasty confections. Toy cars. A kazoo. Jumbo playing cards. (They maybe mutant playing cards, which would be super cool.) Pencil crayons and modelling clay. Trail mix. Assorted goodies. And lest I forget, a harmonica which I’m expected to master this summer. (Lord knows I’ll have the time.)
They arrived by courier early this morning as I sat on my front porch, my fractured form weighed down by self-doubt and depression. It had been a morning ruled by contradictions: I saw no reason to leave my bed and yet, a senses of pride poured into my consciousness as I tackled household chores. Granted, my circumstances dictated my actions; soiled laundry was delivered to the machine on my lap as I slid across the floor. The bathroom was cleaned in stages – on one leg, of course.
As I slumped on a deck chair, however, my mood began to spiral downward once more.
Then, salvation arrived in the form of the squeaky brakes of a delivery truck and a jovial delivery woman. Christmas in July unfolded on my porch as I tore the cardboard apart with my superhuman Canadian hands. A card, dressed with simple sentiment but oozing with friendship and coolness, told the tale.
The bonds of friendship in its purest form, are limitless. My patron and I have never laid eyes on one another and yet, her selfless act has touched me beyond words.
Ann St. Vincent has a heart of gold imbedded in what is apparently a chest designed by Stradivarius. She is a woman of unquenchable passion. A mother who loves and guards her offspring with equal fervor. She is a friend, although that words feels woefully inadequate when applied to souls such as Ann’s, Ned Hickson’s or Robyn Lawson’s.
But getting back to my personal Mrs. Santa, her gift has been the catalyst for a wonderful day for my little family unit:
- My wife scarfed the trail mix with athletic zeal.
- Sarah and VampireLover fought to the near-death over the chocolate goodies.
- My father-in-law has lost himself in the various magazines.
- My daughter has been giving me coloring tips. (She’s the Scooby-Doo expert, after all.)
- I’ve got my mojo back.
I could go on about Ann’s many fine qualities – inside and out – but here it is in a nutshell: With the exception of my family, no one has stepped up to elevate my spirit like Ann St. Vincent. If you ever need an organ, Ann (quit giggling), I’m your guy.
(It won’t be one of my organs, of course, but as a bellman, I know a guy.)
You have a special day coming up this summer, Ann; I hope it brings you all the happiness and passion in the world.
As for the rest of you, be well, my friends. You rock.