Posted on December 20, 2015 by Patricia Ann McNair12.20.2015 Journal Prompt Image from Mad Men December 20, 2015: And so this is Christmas. Share this:ShareClick to email a link to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading... Related
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So this guy comes up to me in the bar and he shakes a collection tin at me. He’s dressed in a red suit with white trim and he’s got a cotton-ball beard spread like a napkin ‘cross his chest. He’s a skinny guy – you can tell by the drawn cheeks and his nose as sharp as a blade, but he’s made up so he looks fat in that suit. He grins like he’s just got lucky – which he aint.
I tell him to beat it and he looks all pantomime hurt and he says it’s Christmas don’t ya know and me telling him to beat it, well it aint in the spirit.
I want to punch him in the face, really punch him – not him exactly but the whole fucking Christmas shit. Jesus, aint we been living with it long enough: Jingle fucking Bells since October and I watched an old Christmas movie back then, too. The black and white one with Jimmy Stewart and he says he wants to live again and he wants to live different and enjoy just being alive. Fuck him, too, and his slow drawling voice and his decent face.
I drop a coupla bucks in Santa’s collection tin, only so’s he’ll move to the next guy at the bar. He grins again and blesses me and wishes me a Merry Christmas. I tell him ‘fuck you’ and drain my glass and show the barman that I need another.
She’s made an effort, Mary has. When I get home I see that. She’s got lights strung up in the window, coloured lights like at a fairground. And there’s music playing. And something’s cooking so the whole house is warm and smelling like a home should smell on the night before Christmas. I stand for a moment in the hall, not yet taking off my coat and my hat and I breathe deep, like breathing is something I have to think to do properly.
‘Every time a bell rings an angel gets its wings,’ – it’s a line from that crummy Jimmy Stewart Christmas film and it’s supposed to be cute and kids love it cos they believe in that sorta shit. Fucking angels. What kinda angel has a name like Clarence anyway? Jesus!
And I remember the minister saying, oh way back now, that the boy was with the angels now, like that was supposed to make me feel better. And he meant well, the minister, but Sonny being with the angels aint no consolation ever and certainly not when she’s got lights all red and yellow and green ’round the house, and something with cinnamon baking in the oven, and Jingle fucking Bells playing on the radio, and she’s pretending it’s just another ordinary Christmas.
I wonder if she’s heard me coming in. I wait for a moment, there in the hall, listening for some small tell-tale sign that she mighta. Then when I think maybe she hasn’t I slip out again, out into the starless night and no moon to lasso and bring home to Mary. My breath hangs on the cold air and it’s starting to snow, soft feathers of white, like an angel just flew by. Fuck Christmas and fuck this wonderful life.
Sorry this is a bit of a grumpy Christmas piece and sorry too for the unforgivable attack on one of Movieland’s finest hours (or two hours and ten minutes)! I don’t feel this way about Christmas – not really. I love all the schmaltz and the saccharine and having the family close.
Apology unnecessary. The work is the work, and good work at that. Your life and your beliefs should not be confused with the fiction you make. Merry Christmas!