In the bookstore, Aiyana floats on a merry cloud. Won’t be long. She’s tall, thin, peering through wire-rims at her catalog screen. Angelica loves books. And Angelica, reader, philosopher, thinker, devout atheist, loves the old holiday feeling.
She spreads cheer in her bookshop heaven. Angelica smiles so brightly answering her phone, callers feel warmth. She sings with the store’s music system, hearing fragments between customers: "...Then one foggy...", "...prospero año y felicidad...", "oh-ho, the mistletoe", "...From now on, our troubles will be out of sight..."
Near midnight, Gabe, the assistant manager, touches her shoulder. He announces she can leave early. The Holiday Goddess is freed to roam where her spirit carries her. She heads home. She investigates her roommate’s boxes of decorations.
Strings of lights glow purple, yellow, blue, orange, crimson red, emerald green. Angelica loops them around the small fir. Then sparkling silver orbs, crystal icicles, miles of scarlet beads. And a golden garland she drapes around her neck. She doesn’t stop decorating until the boxes are empty.
The red candles she lights are set in crystal, not her parents’ Hannukiah. Like Angelica, they glow steadily, brightly, illuminating the shadows, warming the room, tiny stars in the windows. Cinnamon and apple fragrance fills the air.
But something’s missing. Remembering now, Angelica runs to a shelf to push some buttons. The little house fills with music.
"...Although it's been said, many times, many ways, Merry Christmas... Merry Christmas... Merry Christmas to... you."
submitted at 6:06pm
13 May 2009