Tuesday, December 14, 2004

When I wake up in the middle of the night during the holidays, I lie in my bed with my eyes half closed and make sure the room is free of Rudolph. There are a lot of childhood fears that I've since managed to overcome, but that's not always one of them.

The winter that I was six was when the whole thing started. It was getting close to Christmas; the palm trees were all decorated and the little village of wooden houses that my grandfather had just finished building were carefully set up at the base of the Christmas tree. I woke up late one night--I was always waking up in the night because I was convinced that arsonists were lurking around, ready to burn down our trailer--and glanced at the window. Looking back at me was a giant reindeer with a glowing red nose. I knew that he was Rudolph because of the nose, but I couldn't figure out why he was so huge and standing at my window. Totally stricken with terror, I watched as he jumped through the window and ran out the open door through the hallway.

My mom, of course, didn't believe that it had happened. The glass in the window was intact in a way that it wouldn't have been if an enormous creature had recently jumped through it, and there were no hoofprints in the carpet. But I knew what I had seen.

I don't think I actually believe that it happened anymore. Most days, I know that I was dreaming, although just in case I've slept with both curtains and bedroom door shut. It's late at night that the scene returns to me, and I go back to being a little bit scared.

(PS, pictures of the 2nd annual Seattle Webloggers White Elephant Christmas party are here, courtesy of The Dayments.)

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