Kit left for Santa Barbara, and Laura took a week off and we went up to the mountain. The day after Kit returned from Santa Barbara, Laura phoned both Ellen and Julia. When I asked her what they said about Allen, she replied that she didn't ask them: "We'll be seeing both of them in a couple of days, we can talk about it then."
"Did Julia deliver my letter?"
"I didn't ask. But Ellen said that we would be pleasantly surprised by Kit's report"
"What does that mean?"
"I didn't ask."
"Maybe you don't want to know," I said.
"Maybe I don't want just a tidbit. I want to know about everything that happened. We'll know in a few days. We've waited this long; what difference will a few days make."
I shrugged; "I was hoping for some news that would help me to sleep better."
"What would that be?"
"Oh, maybe that Allen would come home for good in a few days."
"Do you really think that that's possible?"
"Possible? Anything's possible."
"Now it's you who's talking about miracles", Laura said.
At the end of the week, Laura and I drove down to the Bay Area. We were to spend the night at Kit's house. It was eight o'clock in the evening when we got to Kit's house, and another half hour before Kit came home. She had been baby-sitting for Ellen, while Ellen went to a class.
"Well, Kit, have you been born again?" I said.
"Not quite; but I think that Allen is in much better shape than he was. He's beginning to question."
I wondered if Allen was really questioning anything important or was it just the type of questioning that believers do with other believers -What do you think that Christ meant when he returned from the dead and talked to Thomas? A far cry from the question of whether anyone has, or could, ever return; or whether it was possible for someone to rise, bodily, from the dead. There were all levels of questions ranging from the childs question of where do I come from? (the answer to which is Milwaukee) to, is there a real danger to genetic engineering? At any rate, any question at all was better than nothing.
"Did you give him the letter?" I asked.
"Yes," she replied.
"Well, how did he react?"
"He wouldn't discuss it with me, but he was obviously shaken."
Well, I thought, there is some hope after all. He is not going to shut me out completely as I was afraid that he would. At least we'll get to talk. Maybe what I detected was not rejection of me. Maybe it was a fear that I would puncture his pretty balloon -god, I feel like such a mean bastard trying to convince the kid that there isn't any Santa Claus. What a hellofa way to think after just watching The Miracle on 34th Street -one of my favorites.Yes, I was going to try to amputate his faith before it ruined his life for good -oh, how I wished that someone else could do it. But didn't think that I could trust anyone else to do it. Who else loved him enough and had the skill to do it. It was as if my child was ill with appendicitis and I was the only one on the island who knew how to do an appendectomy, even though I had never done one before.
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