the thing abt christmas with my family is that i grew up believing that an elf lived in my chimney flue. his name was mr. gerschwimminie. (he was german. ger-schwim-ma-knee. i could spell and pronounce this name before i could spell words like “elephant.”) he lived there year-round, except for the month of june, when he was on vacation in the bahamas, according to my dad. mostly his job was to observe my behavior and report back to the North Pole.
the chimney flue went down into the basement, where there were these two little cast-iron doors in the cement wall, maybe 6″ square each, for cleaning out the ashes. around thanksgiving every year i would start leaving offerings in that little space – drawings, letters, candy, that kind of thing - because mr. gerschwimminie reported directly to santa, and i always felt like i had some shit to atone for over the year (shit that mr. gerschwimminie had, of course, seen and recorded, because i lived in the goddamn elf panopticon).
the kicker here is that after a day or two, mr. gerschwimminie would always respond. i’d check the flue and there would be a crumpled scrap of brown packing paper, with a kind note in charcoal - “thank you for the picture! it was beautiful. my nose is not that large, though.” sometimes the pictures would be sloppily taped up inside the walls of the flue, or the candy wrapper would be left ripped. the notes were always written in smudgy charcoal.
on christmas eve, there was always cookies for santa (his favorite kind, according to mr. g, which coincidentally also happened to be my mom’s favorite), carrots for the reindeer, and an extra offering plate for the elf. sometimes there would be soot sprinkled around the plate in the morning. he usually faded into the family background until the next fall, but i swear. this shit was so realistic i believed until i was twelve.
[…] it did allow them to calculate that sharks in reef systems in the Red Sea of Saudi Arabia were between 10 and 94 times lower, depending on the species and place, than estimates from places like Belize, Hawaii, Indonesia, Fiji and the Bahamas.
As you may or may now know,Hurricane Matthew has already impacted Hati and Jamaica and soon The Bahamas where I am
Your prayers would be so helpful in this time of need
And my prayers go out to Hati and Jamacia