05 Jan

Part One

The Fairy and the Sock Drawer

I think it was last Tuesday when I found the fairy in my sock drawer. I took out a pair of Gold Toes and he sprang up from his hiding place and hovered about six inches above my dresser. It freaked me out.

“Hi there,” he said in a little voice.

“Holy crap!” I responded. As you might imagine, it took me a few minutes to accept what I was seeing. People say “seeing is believing,” but when a fairy jumps out of your sock drawer, it puts that expression to the test.

He bowed theatrically, like magical creatures tend to do before granting wishes. “Where would you like to go?” he said.

“Excuse me?”

“Where would you like to go? I can take you there.”

“You mean, like San Diego?” I asked.

“No.” He put his hands on his hips. “I’m a time fairy. I can take you to any moment of your own life.” He buzzed down to the top of the dresser and stopped flapping his wings. “Unless . . . Have you been to San Diego? I’ve always wanted to go there.”

I had been to San Diego. It was on a vacation with a girlfriend, but we broke up three days into the week, which made the whole thing kind of awkward. So I lied. “No.”

The fairy eyed me skeptically. “Fine, choose some other place, then.” He began picking dirt from under his fingernails.

I tried to think of some moment of my life I’d want to relive, but I was having trouble.

“Most people begin with their own birth. How “˜bout we start there?” he suggested.

I said, “Okay, let me just think about this for a minute,” but apparently, he only heard the okay part.

Suddenly, we were in a hospital room. A young version of my mother was lying on a table, screaming, “Jesus Christ!” My father was next to her, wincing in pain as my mother squeezed his hand. Doctors and nurses were swarming around, telling her to push, and saying things like, “Okay,” “Breathe,” “Almost there,” and “You’re doing good.”

The fairy flew around to the base of the table and said, “The view is better over here. Oh look, there’s your head.”

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