In 2012, the Winter Solstice receives a bad reputation thanks to the Mayan calendar.
Imagine, the Mayan calendar claims the world will end on December 21, 2012, which is, eeeks, today! Here’s my take on the situation. I bet the problem is due to a pessimistic Mayan calendar designer. Let’s imagine the scenario, shall we? Come with me. Step through the quivering Scooby Doo time portal. Make sure to duck down; it’s a cheap time portal.
Shhh. Let’s watch.
Huehuetlot the calendar designer is painstakingly inking the calendar in a hot stone room surrounded by his fellow workers. His fellow artists draw greeting cards celebrating the mighty rain god Chac or the Hero Twins, Mayan crowd favorites because they always kick evil’s ass. The frustrated Huehuetlot wants to illustrate the greeting cards, but noooo, his supervisor Inkan, who smells like a rancid billy goat, always wants Huehuetlot to ink the bloody boring calendar.
Precise strokes decorate parchment day in and day out. As he works, Huehuetlot seethes in frustration. His annoyance reaches volcano-hot fury. He decides, “Screw this crap! I’m better than this tedious, boring job.”
Since he is a dedicated craftsman, Huehuetlot finishes painting in the glyph for twenty-one, which looks like a striped football with two dots. He stands up and announces, “Take this job and shove it up your pyramid,” before he marches from the sweltering room. Only Inkan notices his defection. Of course Huehuetlot’s wife kicks him out for quitting his good-paying inking position. Huehuetlot becomes a hairy hermit obsessed with twenty-one.
Since the Mayans vanished not long after, the calendar is never completed. Huehuetlot is right; no one wants his damned boring job.
What the hell, the story sounds as good as anything else I’ve read. I’m not exactly an eschatologist. In fact, I didn’t know what that word meant until I looked up the meaning today. There, I’m confident I am not an eschatologist.
Come on, why pick on the Winter Solstice? Poor Huehuetlot didn’t hold a grudge against the Winter Solstice. The day might be short, but in Mesoamerica, no one feared winter’s threat. Huehuetlot really held a grudge against his crappy calendar painting job.
If Huehuetlot has screwed up time’s eternal flow only on a mental level, he will have pissed off a specific group; holiday retailers looking to rake in the cash this season.
If retail sales are slow this season, blame the problem on Huehuetlot. Why not? I envision people claiming they didn’t bother shopping for Christmas gifts because of Huehuetlot’s calendar snafu. Why shop if the world might end? By the time the embarrassed end-of-the-world believers race to the store on December 22, all the cool gifts will be rain-checked.
If you don’t receive the perfect gift from your Aunt Bessie, who is also an enthusiastic tabloid reader, blame the problem on Huehuetlot and his calendar. If nothing else, Huehuetlot’s story will be a conversation starter around the holiday table. Thanks to the Scooby-Doo time portal, you have the inside scoop on his story.
Guess what? My latest novel “Cupid Knows Best” has a Christmas themed-chapter.
Here is the excerpt. Enjoy!
When it comes to his professional life, photographer Carl Conrad is at the top of his game. He molds impressionable minds at university by day and jets off to Paris for gallery showings on long weekends. Unfortunately, he pays for it with his disastrous personal life: Carl kicked his boyfriend to the curb after one too many punches, so now it’s just him and his hamsters, one of which he suspects may be a space alien.
Then Cupid takes pity on Carl and hits him where it hurts. It takes Carl all of three seconds to fall head over heels in lust with set design student Marcelino Moya, despite the man’s questionable—okay, deplorable—fashion sense. Convincing Marcelino to give him a chance is the hard part, but Carl is up for the challenge, pun definitely intended.
Marcelino plays hard to get, but he isn’t immune to Carl’s charms. Carl talks him around to dinner, dating, and eventually moving in. There’s just one tiny word standing between Carl and perfect happiness. Why won’t Marcelino say the “L” word?
I massaged Marcel’s thigh and kissed his forehead. “You created a wonderful party, lover.”
“You really did, Marcelino. Here’s to the return of playful gatherings. You inspire me to drag my sad ass out of my doldrums and throw a private party at the gallery.” Hindy turned and kissed Tim’s cheek. “What am I saying? My fair Tim drags me out in quite an efficient manner.”
Tim fluttered and blushed. “See, I’m stronger than I look.” They kissed in hotter commitment.
How cute. Tim recovered from his near swoon and relaxed back. His fingers curled in Hindy’s hair. I adored how Tim had succumbed to Hindy’s elegant worship.
After he recovered, Tim pointed at our tree. “Marcelino, the tree is delightful. I’ve been meaning to say something all evening.”
“Thanks. When Carl told me he never bothered with a tree anymore, I straightened him, well, you know what I mean, out on the problem. This holiday fiend needs a tree to celebrate the festive season.”
“Of course clever Marcel created our flamboyant rainbow tree.” My witty planner had purchased simple glass ornaments in rainbow colors and artfully arranged them in zigzag waves across the blue spruce. The compact tree’s rounded bulk dominated the room’s right window corner. “I love the sight. I never realized how I missed having a tree.” I stood and bowed toward my guests. “Anyone want more wine?”
Agreements filled the air. I brought an open bottle of pinot grigio and a bottle of Malbec to the coffee table. “Have fun.”
Hindy huffed in annoyance. “Marcelino, when will you properly train this rude beast?”
“Carl isn’t too bad. He’s just a little undomesticated.”
I returned to my cuddle against Marcel. “Why should I bother? You look after me so well I feel content to drift along.”
“That’s not true. I noticed someone has learned how to empty the dishwasher, and no lie, Carl even uses the vacuum cleaner.”
“What a miracle! Dearest, I salute you for transforming Carl.”
“Yeah, right.” I grinned and winked at Cupid, who sat alongside the bewinged Cher doll that passed for our tree’s angel. Yeah, I had started making the domestic effort for my man.
Hindy patted Tim’s knee. His eyebrows performed their usual hairline tango. “Tim, trust me, you are lucky to have found a tidy man. I’ve seen this place when—”
“Stop spreading tales.” I rolled my eyes. “Here’s the deal. Four months ago, Hindy dropped by one evening after Martin and I had conducted a stellar battle over him slapping me. The kitchen table’s contents were sprawled across the floor. During the argument, we tossed our food-filled plates like crazy people. Then we started on the glassware.”
“Too bad you didn’t crack a plate over his evil head.” Marcel scowled and sipped his wine. “Or better yet a grease-filled frying pan.”
“The temptation flirted with me.”
“I wish temptation had flirted you into real action. Enough, enough, I don’t want to talk about the odious man. Tonight I want to celebrate the season with true friends.” Marcel slithered from his sprawl and flicked on the TV. He clicked around until he laughed in merriment. “There it is. Bridget told me about this festive channel.”
Hindy sputtered in disbelief. “How remarkable. They actually broadcast a film of a burning Yule log? Hilarious.”
“A Yule log and traditional Christmas carols. How fun.” Tim raised his glass in glee before he poured Malbec. Damn, his shaky aim almost baptized my floor in dark-red goodness.
Marcel switched on the tree lights. The sparkly glow filled the room.
To my relief, Tim’s wineglass landed on the table before he applauded the festive light show. He seemed toasted enough to forget he held a glass in his hands. “Why did you turn off the lights during the party?”
“I don’t want to burn the living tree’s branches.” Marcel pointed to the large copper bucket holding the tree upright. “See, the spruce has a root ball. We’re donating the merry little tree to whatever city park needs trees. We can visit the spruce like proud parents.”
Hindy’s knowing stare met mine. “We are blessed old farts.”
“I agree.” I raised my glass for a communal toast. Our glasses clinked together without breaking anything although Tim almost fell off the couch. When it came to drinking, the slim blond was a lightweight.
Marcel switched off the room lights and returned to my side. He ruffled my hair. I wrapped my arm around his waist and pulled him close for a satisfied kiss.
We basked in the rainbow tree’s glow while watching the televised Yule log and listening to classic holiday tunes. The cozy scenario made sense. Tim and Hindy looked as settled as any old couple resting on a park bench, well, that is if the old couple wore black leather, black seersucker, or red-and-green plaid wool trousers. They sat holding hands and smiling for no good reason.
A gasp brushed my cheek. Marcel scrambled to his feet and pointed in fine dramatic style. I managed not to drop my wine. “Look, how cool, it’s snowing!” The pale light seeping through the right window framed his broad shoulders.
I admired his proud silhouette. Tim and Hindy stood to occupy the tall front left window. I stood and joined Marcel. There, a couple graced each window. Fitting. Outside the large flakes filtered down in indolent sloth. The streetlights illuminated their stately descent through the naked tree branches. This too made magical sense. I hugged Marcel close and kissed his temple.
Hindy shook his head in dismay. “I fear it’s time to find a cab.”
As he laughed, Marcel leaned over and prodded Hindy’s shoulder. “Why? You can use the spare bedroom.”
“Stay the night?”
“Look, we have plenty of treats and wine. I say let’s sit, eat, drink, and continue the celebration.” Marcel raised his glass into the air.
Tim clapped in glee. “I’m off tomorrow. I say yes.”
Hindy also lifted his glass into the air. “How wise. Why suffer winter’s bite? Jezebel loves her food dispenser, so no worries.”
Familiar thumping made me laugh. “Spazz wants to join the party.”
“Can I meet him in person?”
“Come on, Tim, I’ll let you hold his travel ball.”
Tim cooed in delight. Spazz entered his travel ball and danced in glee. My nutty hamster hated being left out of the action. Einstein stirred and started roaming through the colorful tube tangle. “Wow, Einstein is awake. These guys agree. They want to party. Go ahead, set Spazz on the floor.”
The merry Spazz rolled into the living room. He managed to bounce against Hindy’s and Marcel’s feet before he rolled back into the spare bedroom. I swear that hamster owned superior taste. No wonder, he was an alien.
We settled back into our comfortable cuddles. Marcel winked and kissed my cheek.
This time Hindy raised his wineglass into the air. The Yule log’s flames reflected off the glass. “My dear Tim, love for a pet is a sign of a good man. If you move in with me, will you bring along any pets? As you know, my ancient Jezebel is a sweetie, but she isn’t much on furry intruders. She does approval of you, which is enough for me.” Hindy set down his wineglass and stroked Tim’s long fine hair.
Marcel gasped. He gripped my shoulder until my muscles whimpered for release.
Tim almost hyperventilated. “Hindy, is this an offer?”
My friend flicked his pale left hand flicked through the air in imperial dismissal. “I planned to wait, but since our dear friends have created such a lovely romantic environment for us, I need to ask you tonight. After all, their love brought us together. Wise of them.” Hindy turned and winked at us before he grasped Tim’s hands. He kissed Tim’s knuckles and sighed in adoration. “Care to move in with me, sweetie darling? Care to be my much-needed breath of fresh air and keep dragging me from my shell?”
“Yes, yes, yes!” Their hug created a devoted tangle of black and blond hair.
Marcel’s triumphant smile tried to blind me. I squeezed him close. “Congratulations, matchmaker.”
A brief wing flutter vanished into the sparkling snow. Cupid, you are da man.
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