Nick took my mother’s other hand.
“Your mother and I are friends… ” he said.
“Very good friends…” added my mother.
It suddenly became real to me. This was Santa Claus. And Santa Claus was a horny older guy leering at my mother’s figure!
“Mom?” I gasped. ”Are you doing it with Santa Claus?!!”
“What kind of question is that to ask your mother?!” she answered. “And I’m a adult.”
“But I’m shocked,” I stammered.
Nick laughed his “Ho Ho Ho.”
“How can someone who writes about his penis all the time be such a prude?” he joked.
“But, Mom?” I cried incredulously. “What about Dad? It’s only been 15 months since he passed away.”
“Your father would be the FIRST person to want me to date again. Being over 65 is young today!”
I began feeling dizzy. My mother gave me her kindly smile.
“Think about every Christmas since you were a child. What did your father do at Queens General Hospital?”
“He would dress as Santa and visit the children’s wing.”
“He was the funniest-looking Santa ever,” Nick added. “He was so skinny… and those Woody Allen glasses! But he was the best!”
“So who better to take on as a lover…” said my mother, “than the REAL Santa Claus?! Your father would be impressed!”
I turned towards Nick, still defiant.
“And what about you, Nick? Aren’t you still married?”
“Technically, I am still married to Mrs. Claus. But we are, uh, separated. Although we still live near each other in the North Pole, and love each other, we can still date, but… it’s all very complicated. I’m not sure if you can understand…”
“Oh, I can. I can…” I replied.
My mother took me by my arm and led me to the living room couch. It was in perfect condition for an old couch because of the plastic that covered it for 30 years.
“Mom, are you sure you know what you are doing?” I asked.
“Is there anything wrong with Nick bringing some “joy” into my life?” she said.
I shook my head, confused.
“I don’t understand. How did you and Santa… uh, Nick… meet?”
“At Shirley’s house. It seems that Nick is quite a whiz at Mah-Jongg and came over for a game.”
Nick sat down across from us.
“My mother, Miriam Clausiwitz, god rest her soul, played Mah-Jongg every Tuesday when I was growing up in the Bronx. I can still hear the click of the tiles and the chattering of the women. I even taught the elves how to play! Oh, you should see some of their competitive tournaments!”
“My head is spinning” I said.
My mother gave me a hug.
“All is good, Neil. The world is good, despite your bad experiences on the plane and the cab ride over here. People ARE good. We just forget to look at the positive side sometimes. I don’t know if it will work out between Nick and I, but I’ve learned so much from him.”
“And I’ve learned so much from your mother.” said Nick. “She’s a wonderful woman. And so full of energy! Be inspired by her, Neil. It’s up to you and other wonderful bloggers to spread the joy throughout the blogosphere.”
“You mean the Holiday Concert? The Blogger Christmahanukwanzaakah Holiday Concert?”
“Yes, Neil! The Holiday Concert on your blodge” said my mother, beaming with pride.
“It would be a mitzvah!” echoed Nick.
I could hear MUSIC coming from upstairs, but it wasn’t coming from the apartment upstairs. The music was surrounding us. It felt spiritual.
“That music?” I said as I looked for the source. “It sound so familiar. It sounds like the soundtrack from “Gunga Din” my father’s favorite movie.”
“It is your father… !” said Nick. “From the beyond!
My mother listened carefully, as if she understood.
“I think Artie wants to say that he loves the Holiday concert idea. It could be a Holiday tradition, just like when he used to dress up like Santa Claus at the hospital every year!”
Suddenly, I heard my father’s voice calling out to me.
“Go ahead, Neil.” he said. “Make the announcement about the concert already!”
“And what about Mom and Santa Claus? What should I do” I asked my father. “Doesn’t it make you upset? Doesn’t it make you jealous?”
“Nah. If Elaine passed away first, you don’t think I would be shtupping other women by now? Besides, what’s there to be jealous of? Have you seen the tiny size of Santa Claus’ c**k?!”
“You are too funny, Dad. I love you.”
“Go and put up the sign-up sheet,” he instructed me. “The Holiday Season is upon us. Let everyone “Be of Good Cheer!”
ANNOUNCING THE FIRST ANNUAL BLOGGER Christmahanukwanzaakah HOLIDAY CONCERT — December 20, 2006
(sign-up sheet coming later)