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  • I lost my belief in Santa Claus very late. I was 8 years old and my younger sister was 5. She realized what I had not for many years: Santa on Christmas Eve just moved the same odd way as did Ohte, the lady, who helped my mother with the laundry! Once my sister whispered that this was Ohte disguised, all veils fell from my maybe already then sickly and poor eyes.

    The world shattered. It was not a safe and orderly place. If Ohte could pretend to be Santa and I had believed it, deception enveloped me.
    Shortly after, the night before my ninth birthday, I felt the passage of time consciously for the first time. I would never ever be 8 years old again! Time would keep flowing and in the year 2000 I would be an old lady of 49 years! I could not think any further than that. These thoughts excited and worried me so much: I hardly slept at all that night.

    Santa was lost and realization of time flying had been won, but thanks to God I still had Jesus. My First Communion came up. I loved our priest, who always had his pockets full of chocolates. I feared the chaplain, who talked so much about the Evil that every night I feared the devil would materialize in front of me. But I had Jesus. I hated confession and the chaplain and the devil, but I loved Jesus.

    On the morning of my First Communion I thought to myself: “This will be the happiest day of my life until the day I will get married!” (Actually on the day of my wedding I felt much more stressed than happy).

    When the bread that was the flesh of Jesus was put on my tongue - withering away quickly, not leaving any taste – my heart entered a state of ecstasy: I was melting into oneness with Jesus and God and everything. I was safe and held and Santa as well as the passage of time lost all importance.

    Not long after that remarkable day I stayed with my grandmother in her huge dark apartment filled with mysterious souvenirs from the years she had lived in Egypt.

    One evening I sat down to write a letter to God. I do not remember what I told God, maybe of the crush I had on a boy named Jürgen, that often I felt lonely and shunned by my friends, that my younger sister was so much more beautiful…. Whatever I wrote in that letter is not so important, but while I wrote I knew – and I still agree – that this was the most important letter I had ever written or would ever write.

    When I went to sleep in the huge bed beside my grandmother I put the letter to God under my pillow. God would find it there and take it and when I woke up the next morning, the letter would be gone and I would know once and for all that God existed, even though Santa Claus did not and time kept flying.

    My grandma slept very little. When I woke up during the night I would always find her sitting in bed beside me reading the phone – book of our small town, going from name to name and remembering what she could if she could about this and that person. She kept her eye on me.

    You can imagine what was the first thing I did the following morning. I left the untouched letter under my pillow beside my now snoring grandmother. After peeing I looked hard at myself in the mirror. There was a tremendous ache in my heart. I would have to live with this pain from now on.

    I went back to the bed, took the letter to God and tore it in very tiny pieces which I then flushed down the toilet.

    Art by Kiki ( Girl Thinking)
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