The sun's ray burst through the venetian blinds as if the police were chasing them. The warm golden light filled the bedroom and poured over the sleeping boy as HE slept, deeply, following an exhaustive night of anxiety, wonder and hope that Santa would really appear. It had been a hard evening earlier for him to find Mr.Sandman that night as it was Christmas eve. For all HE understood it would take the snow and windy cold weather to bring that big sleigh, however it was a very warm and sunny winter and not a flake of snow was in sight. The questions that needed answers to still left him wondering if Santa really would arrive on the roof or on the beautiful sandy white beaches that spread out the back of the concrete block Florida home of which HE lived in. HE had been told to get to sleep early and the next morning there would be stockings and many presents just waiting to be opened. HE dreamed of what would be under that brightly lit tree and truly had no idea that fate would be waiting for him on the other side of the door that Christmas morning.
His Mother was up early and put the finishing touches on the packages and put the last things into his stocking and quickly picked up the cookies that had been left out for Santa and sat them close to her cup of coffee. She had to be sure to have them eaten before the pandemonium began as he would surely check to see if they were gone. She sat looking at the holiday scene before her and felt the warm memories of her childhood Christmases spread through her being. As tears welled in her eyes she reveled in the fact that she would once again get to share that feeling through the eyes of her own child. Having had a celebratory Christmas eve his Dad was still unmoved on the sofa in an inebriated exhaustive sleep. It seemed that the holiday season always took it's toll on him and he took his solace in the amber liquid that kept the glow within him. As she sat and watched his lifeless form she wondered if he would awaken in a happy state of mind and appreciate the moments that would soon transpire. She took the last cookie and dipped it into her coffee and glanced up at the clock and took note of the time and then returned the plate to it's place next to the empty milk glass on the table by the tree.
She hoped that she would be lucky enough to get a chance to bathe before the action all began, and took quick advantage of having the bathroom all to herself. As she brushed her hair before stepping into the warm bath she looked deep into the mirror and assured herself that the gifts that awaited unwrapping would be appreciated by everyone who received them. As as she began to step in to the water she heard a noise and quickly decided to look into her son's room before she began her ritual to be sure there would be enough time before he awoke. Softly she opened the door and looked in to see his little leg dangling off the side of the bed and knew that it would not be long before he would be bounding out of the room in a rush. She truly did not want to miss that moment and closed the door and turned swiftly to complete her bath. With a smile on her face she eagerly awaited his presence.
As she exited the bathroom she heard the rustling of the coffee pot and knew that at least one person was up and she had not missed the pending event. With the haggard look on her husband's face she saw the consequences that the libation's had left on his head. As he took a long sip of coffee he felt he rush of caffeine penetrate his body giving him the energy to break a smile and offer a good morning to her.
"Do you feel as bad as you look" she asked. He managed a sly grin and answered abruptly "no ..worse but I took four aspirin and hope they remove this pain in my head and..... before I forget to tell you, I'm sorry.. I passed out on you, can you forgive me?".. The apology was appreciated but was just filed with the others that came more frequently and she pushed any angry emotions away, and replied "Of course I can, but I hope you will be ready for all the family arriving later. Perhaps you need to leave your best friend Jack Daniels outside for the day". His eyes followed her as she sat by him at the table. He said nothing and realized the less said the better, but he knew that she was right, he would leave the bottle alone as his head and body could not take it another night. She knew that he was sorry but it seemed that the apologies never really changed anything except to smooth over the moment till it happened again. The best gift she could hope for was a sign that he was progressing toward a new outlook and to show a little more affection to make her feel wanted, secure and not uncertain of their love for each other. He did not want to confront her eyes as it would only make him feel more regretful but the slight touch to her hand gave way to the feeling that the day would turn out alright afterall.
She stood up and made her way to the stove to prepare a little breakfast for the both of them and still expected any second for the sound of feet to come running down the hall. She hoped for a little more time for the two of them to be alone and to talk a while. Reaching into the refrigerator for the bread she asked him if he would like some eggs with his toast and he resoundingly stated "I don't think so right now, I'm hoping the toast will sop up the rest of the pain from the headache, why in the hell do I do that to myself". He could not see the hidden grin on her face and her joy of knowing the price he was paying for his drinking spree. As the toaster popped up the bread he made his way toward her to offer help and softly put his arms around her waist and breathed in her scent and kissed her gently on the neck and whispered "Merry Christmas". The emotion sent her reeling and she turned around in response but never got the chance to say anything as he deeply kissed her and assured her that everything would be fine.
They stood and ate their toast and coffee and took in the rare moment of just being together without someone nearby asking a million questions. The adult conversation felt easy and without hesitation and made the intimate connection for the both of them.
She began stacking the dishes in the sink when she heard the opening of her sons bedroom door and knew the time was here and the excitement was ready to begin. She told her husband to get the camera for the memories to be shared later. In his Mighty Mouse pajamas and barely awake, he made his way into the kitchen. She could tell at that moment that the Santa connection had not been made yet as he asked for his usual bowl of Alpha Bits cereal.
She was torn between getting the cereal and letting him eat and the desire to watch the lighting of his face as he was made aware that Santa had come, just a few feet away. She made her way to the pantry to get the box of cereal and placed the bowl in front of him and began pouring when his arms flailed above his head in a squeal that signified that he remembered what day it was. As his arms came down so did the box of cereal all over the floor. HE quickly pushed the chair back from the table and ran into the living room and shouted that Santa had come and to please hurry into the room. There was hardly enough time to insert the flash bulbs into the camera as he became more overwhelmed at the sight of all the presents spilling out from under the tree. She decided to leave the mess in the kitchen and rushed into the room and saw him jumping up and down and overjoyed at what HE saw. The high energy ignited the room and the spirit of the day moved through all of them. HE took his stocking first and began rummaging through it it with wild abandon. There were chocolates and marshmallow candies, small games and lots of crayons. There was also a candy dispenser that held all the Pez one could eat. It was a gold mine of treats. His father reached under the tree and handed him Santa's first present as the flash of light burst forth from the camera she held. It was a fairly big box and not much sound came from inside as HE shook the box.
She looked at her husband and wondered if her son would like what would soon be unveiled. The paper was being torn off rapidly and suddenly the box was opened. The ultimate question came out despairingly "What is it?" Spoken even before taking the object out of its packaging, she could tell his disappointment was rising from impatience. His father removed it from the box and sat it on the table nearby but it did not arouse his curiosity. HE began opening another package. She watched as HE eagerly opened the next present and saw that his eyes would occasionally drift to the square box with the handle that his Dad had placed on the table just moments ago.
As HE pulled the last paper off his newest package HE happily said "Mom, it's books I like" she asked him if he was sure of that and then HE saw that they were not books, but round colored plastic things that looked like thin plates with holes in the middle. "WHAT is this" HE asked almost angrily, "I didn't ask Santa for this, why did he leave these, I don't want these", protesting loudly HE dropped them to the floor and stood sadly as if he had been reprimanded. She picked up the items and tried to explain that they were records and the box on the table was the player that you put them on to make them play music. Although HE knew what music was it did nothing to peak his interest and these items were not what He was expecting under the tree. HE sat down and pulled out another gift from the tree hoping for at least one thing that was written on his list. HE unraveled a Huckleberry Hound stuffed animal toy and breathed a sigh of relief and as HE turned to show it to his parents, He saw that the box with the handle on it was open and the little round plastic records were spinning around. HE then noticed one of the records dropped down into the box and suddenly sound emanated from within. It surprised and stunned him to where HE could not move and was mesmerized by what HE saw and heard. She looked in her husband's direction and saw that he too witnessed something spectacular. As HE stood there saying nothing he cocked his head from side to side listening intently. HE had no idea that fate was quietly sneaking it's way into his life at that moment and wrapping it's arms around him. HE would begin the journey toward a life phenomenon that would shape HIS life into the person that destiny had silently prepared him for. It would be a grand adventure and one that would carry him to the top of it all. Life, for HIM, did begin at 45 R.P.M ........ Yet,......................
Fate had much more planned than just 45 Revolutions Per Minute.