just the four of us

I want a refugee for Christmas.

I’ve thought it over, and what I want is to open that back bedroom that right now is just storage so that some young woman can stay somewhere safe, behind a door that locks, in a house with heating and air. I want to come downstairs and find she’s raiding the fridge, or you know what? If she just opens and shuts it to marvel at the 24/7/365 electricity, she can do that too. But while I’m up, if she could toss me a Pepsi — yeah, in the yellow wrapper, caffeine-free. Thanks.

I have scarves she is perfectly free to wear, if she came here without hijab and needs some. We will go shopping. I can get new clothes anytime, you know? Or she can help me with the Garnet stuff and we can use our spare time to sew for ourselves. Shoes might be a problem, because nobody wears a women’s five, but I’m sure we can get some great stuff at Payless.

We’d puzzle out English and I bet she’d pick up our Bambergerisch while we were at it. Oh, and French! She could leave us multilingual! And we have a couple of translations of al-Qur’an sitting around, so she could take her pick, plus I could learn some more Arabic that way. Or if she can’t read that, dude, we can blow some cash at MCC on Arabic 101 (third time for me, but whatever). You should be able to read what your holy book says.

And that’s assuming she’s Muslim.

I freely acknowledge that I’d have to come up with a better bathroom-crap storage solution (le sigh, time for another epic cleanout). But we have enough towels, we can work out a schedule, as long as everyone sprays after they do Number Two we are solid.

As for resources, between me and my dad, if we can’t help we definitely know someone who can. I don’t mind schlepping with her to St Joseph’s, which takes people of all faiths and makes amazing things happen. I have forms to fill out myself, so we can take turns with the facilitated enroller. Nobody in this house is what you’d call neurotypical, so if she’s got trauma, she’ll fit right in.

To me it’s simple: we have room, there will be many people who need room, there are worse places to live than with us. The only issue I can think of is she can’t be allergic to cats. That’s it. She can do her thing and it wouldn’t be immensely difficult to cover her costs. We buy halal chicken, fine! (Does Wegmans do that yet?) We have one of those awesome cheap international landline plans. A cell might cost, is all. But I wonder if she couldn’t just get a simple one to start and get on our plan?

I don’t want a damn thing for Christmas if it means we can manage to help one displaced person. Will someone please tell me why this is such a radical notion, this putting our guest rooms to good use?


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