A Tire Swing Story is a bite-sized "imagining" inspired by an object I discover while wandering. It could be a curbside trash gem or a message sprayed on a wall. A lost mitten, or an antique store find. Anything goes. I photograph the object and post them together, the story and its inspiration. There will be a new story every Monday and Wednesday. On Fridays, I'll discuss writing, life, love, and coffee. (In no particular order and maybe all at once.)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I swear to God, this is my last year at Santa's Workshop in the Bellview Mall. I know I said that last Christmas, but then December rolled around, and I needed to make my car payment, and I have to admit, the hours aren't bad.

But the Mrs. Claus wig makes me itch, and the dress is too tight and jacks my boobs up.

And it's humilating having to deal with all those freaked-out kids. Last year one of them got so scared, he peed on Charley's lap, all over his Santa costume. And the boss didn't even let poor Charley go home, just gave him a new pair of red pants.

Right now, Charley's got a live one. A boy on his lap is trying to pull off his beard. I make my way up there with a big smile on my face. "Santa, honey," I say, "is this little boy trying to get on your naughty list?" The crowd laughs and I grab the kid.

On our break, we sit outside smoking and eating candy canes. It starts snowing big fluffy flakes, like we're in a postcard. Charley passes me a gift box. Inside is a Christmas ball. "For your tree, Deb," he says.

Then he leans his head back and sticks out his tongue. I watch one of those snowflakes land in the middle of his tongue and dissolve, and I can't help but laugh. So I stick my tongue out too, and I feel them: fresh and sweet little pinpricks.

I could've stayed out all night long with our heads facing the sky, just catching snowflakes, but our break was over and it was time to get back inside.

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