A Christmas story

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.

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