Biff and Paul Get Acquainted
My new cousin Paul had come into my Santa room. All the bubble lights percolated cheerily, the reindeer and an elf glowed with interior lights, and Paul's eyes kept darting around, trying to take it all in. Santa stood and waved his friendly wave, like always; his gears whirred, like always.
"Tell me about yourself, Paul," I said.
"Well, I'm just a little older than you, by about a year and half or so; my sister Callista, she was the one that got killed ... can I touch Santa?"
Paul walked over and put his hand on Santa's shoulder. "Wow, you can feel the vibration of the motor."
Suddenly I thought to myself, "That looks like fun." I put my hand next to Paul's. We grinned at each other. Then I remembered.
"I'm sorry your sister got killed."
Paul took his hand away. "Yeah, thanks." He looked down. I looked at his shoe - the laces flopped over and lay on the floor. They had black dirt all over them.
"So I guess you are here for the funeral."
"Yeah, my rich uncle, I mean, your father, he's gonna have a big deal for her. Lots of flowers and stuff. I'm supposed to borrow a suit from you."
I nodded. "Okay. Let's go to my room." I went to the control panel I'd had built the summer before. I flipped a few switches and Santa stopped moving. The room went dark, except for one white light overhead. We walked out into the hall.
"Do you have any other neat stuff? My Dad said you had a lot of toys," Paul said.
"Well, I do have some things, but they're not toys, really."
"Oh, a train, some guns, a horse." I opened the door to my room. "Here we are."
"Oh, man, a train?"
"Yes. Oh, and you can see the color TV in the corner."
"All this is yours?"
"Yes." I'd never realized my room was anything special. I suppose I took for granted the sitting area with the chairs and TV; the large bathroom, and the combined closet and dressing room. I took Paul to the dressing room and picked out a black suit. He tried it on.
"Perfect fit," he said. I thought the sleeves and pant legs little short, but said nothing. Suddenly, I thought of something.
"Let's go show my father."
"OK," Paul said. We left my room to look for them downstairs.