*Merry Christmas, You. This is your latest gift to me.*
If pay were involved, I’d owe you more than I’ve made. The sky doesn’t stretch high enough and the moon doesn’t shine bright enough to repay what you’ve given to me.
I take. Every day in every way I take. I take without giving. I take relentlessly. I take when you’re tired. I take when you’re busy. I take beyond any fair measure and I demand far more than my fair share.
I don’t give. I don’t offer. I don’t provide. In no way do I repay. My debt grows larger and longer and I make no promises to “never again delay.” I latch on, leech and suck for as long as you’ll let me, between phone calls, curlers and caravans. I suck without letting go until surely you must ache from all that I take.
And yet, instead of casting me away, you invite me to stay. You point out the path, prop my sulking, selfish, demanding, distraught spirit and blow long after you’re breathless into my sails. You borrow the wind from your tomorrow to pay for my today. You take the depths of your well, dig deeper and shovel coal into your billows just to fan my needy flame.
You give voice to my voiceless and a song to be sung. You lift up my let down and turn my frown upside down. You bring strength to my weakness and hope to my hopeless. You’re the mother to my Theresa and the warmth to my coldness.
You lie down in the dirt, attach your lips to the back of my heel and blow into my shell. Into my puppet like persona, you pull strings. You lift my limp arms, open my unhinged mouth and walk my weary feet.
You push me on stage like a third grade teacher with her problem pupil before the big school play. You wipe frightened, insecure, reluctant tears from my eyes. You take any seat in the theater, sit behind any head and beside any obnoxious drunk just to watch my show, my painful prose, my amateur hour and when the curtain closes, you’re the first on your feet, weeping and wiping tears from your eyes cheering me though I missed all my lines.
For as much as I may hate to act, without you there would be no show to go on and no curtain to draw. You are the producer, director and silent stake in a production that will likely never see the light of day. You give all that you are and all that you have so that my unwritten, unsung, unacted productions don’t destroy me.
You are my muse and without you my words would stop. My fingers would fail. I would atrophy, decay and blow away. You breath life to my lungs and give voice to my vox long after you’ve grown hoarse and breathless and worn out and weak. You do this despite knowing I will never repay the debt I continue to demand in the form of your today.