So there I was all lonely after my mother died,
job gone, house on tender-hooks with lawyer pursuits
against my brother in the Will, and its Christmas time
in Sunshine my hometown. Funny name for
a town my friends
in America say.
Not so funny to me though my hometown is tough working
class there you grow up
with a mean face to defend yourself against other
mean faces. This held me in good stead in other
places of ill repute that I have frequented
since my mother’s death. My mean face is only
a charade for fear but it has kept me alive.
So, as I said, its Christmas time in Sunshine,
and its hot, and so I walk down to the shopping
mall to get my usual things, cigarettes,
and beer. On the way I passed a Uniting Church,
they were offering food parcels for Christmas.
So I wandered in and there I met an old man
called Bill. Now Bill was well into his eighties
and he asked if he could come around to my
house for a chat. I felt a little suspicious because
I didn’t want some Bible freak bashing me with
their version of the Good Book. But I relented
my suspicion because Bill seemed a harmless
old fellow and what the hell I wouldn’t mind
a bit of company because I was feeling I
was slipping into the Blues. The old man
came around and after a while invited
me to his house for Christmas dinner. Come
Christmas Day, I carried a six pack of beer,
and my cigarettes and sauntered
over to his house in the boiling sun.
Entering I found around
twelve people talking, laughing, and generally
enjoying themselves. As we sat around the table
I asked each one how they knew Bill. Each one
said they met Bill only once at the Church.
So there I was with all these stray cats
drinking, laughing, and everyone was
a stranger to each other, and yet
we were all on the same journey, and our angel,
Bill the patriarch, sat there like Don Corleone,
grinning like a cheshire cat as we sang Christmas carols
into the new dawn.