Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Sometimes we don't know our own true natures until circumstance shines a light on us and reveals who we really are. A callow youth dives into turbulent waters to save a child. A skipper gives himself up to pirates to save his crew. A proud evangelist blubbers like a baby when he's caught with a hooker. What struck me most, when the light of circumstance shone on me, was how very bright it was.
I have the honor of living with a 58-year-old man who believes in nothing regular at all--not God, not the invisible hand of the marketplace, not even Santa Claus--nothing except the Easter Bunny. And about him he is fervent. The Easter Bunny has come through for Dave every year of his entire life, and if he couldn't count on the Buns, his entire belief structure would wither like a 401(k). But the world spins on, the Daphne blooms anew, and the house is pocked with hidden chocolate every spring. He and his friend Pootie gambol about like lambs and fill up a large basket.
I am not the Easter Bunny. I am not delusional. No, I am but an assistant and concierge to E.B., responsible merely for opening the door after it has been determined that Dave is deep in slumber. The Bunny is admitted and allowed to go about his business. Only, Dave is pretty tall, and a lot of the best hiding places are hard for the Bunny to reach, so I started helping a while back. And the Bunny has a mighty packed schedule, so I started to help a little more. And, what with one thing and another, and the worldwide proliferation of Christians and all, now it's kind of down to the Bunny letting me know where he does his shopping, and calling it a day. Anyway, we're tight.
One Easter morning, early, 2am, in 2001, I crept out of bed to let the Easter Bunny in, and hung around as usual to help. I don't wear jammies to bed and didn't see any particular reason to put any on; it was a warm night, and all the lights were off in the house. I was nearly through hiding the stash when I decided to stack some truffles up high, on top of the window frame. So I planted both feet a comfortable distance apart on the back of the sofa, reached way up with my left hand to hold onto the window frame, and way up with my right to position the truffles. That left all my sticky-outy bits pressed against the window glass. And that would be the moment a car began to approach down the street, but since the headlights were aligned with the street rather than in my direction, it did not appear to be a problem. Unless the car suddenly swung towards the curb in front of the house next door, which is just what it did, pinning me with a halogen spotlight in an essentially--let's just say it--crucified pose. Our brand-new, perfectly adorable young male neighbors were home from the tav. Alleluia!
I do not know if the perfectly adorable young men were looking up at the window they were illuminating, twenty feet away. But if they were, I am proud to say they saw me revealed as I truly am. The Deputy to the Easter Bunny.