Xmas Eve 03, 11:00 P.M.

Whatever has caused stars to cross and align
Is rewriting the sky as she’s falling through time
When old had been done and was all but divine
Comes a reckoning force as she’s falling through time

I would love to announce that I’ve been filled with an incredible insight appropriate for a toast. Standing in front of the watchtower as it strikes midnight, my fingers would clasp around massive scissors and slice through the crimson ribbon, smiling for tomorrow’s cover story on the arrival of America’s sacred holiday. I’d squint through camera flashes and say some crap about our wonderful savior or goodwill so that all might tear up and exclaim how beautiful the speech was and just where it touched them.

Cut the church bell clamor. Freeze the asinine illusion. Wait for it to crack under its atrocious lies.

If the mistletoe and overplayed songs are hitting all the wrong notes, don’t attack the carolers outside just yet. You’ve got to look into it before you see through it. And you have to see through it, or you’ll never get over it.

Pierce the pockets of that designer jacket and observe the fat roll of folding money they’ve been carrying up and down the streets. Watch it turn into plastic sacks with handles and busy checklists. Go deeper, right through the man to the boy struggling to keep up beside him. He is asking if Santa stops his sleigh for the homeless.

When Daddy can’t give a straight answer, the boy lets go of his father’s coat and walks up to an old bum, fearless. It goes without saying that he is retrieved immediately by his father and escorted along and away. But the kid will look back, a few blocks down, briefly enough so as to not lose step with his father. Two brown eyes will peek out above a bright scarf and that is where you’ll see the first sign of hope… that all is not lost.

Father and son pass me by on a dream’s sidewalk, below. And so is the view from here, at the watchtower. There isn’t a herd of media nor are there microphones. The Ghost of Christmas Past is sitting on the concrete stairs beside me, with arms folded under his chin. A donkey rests in the dark with us, nosing my arm. I figure the animal is eating my sleeve because I was dressed like one in my youth group’s Christmas Story, years and years ago. One of those claymation California Raisins from a television special is out here, too. He isn’t as serious-looking as the other spirits and religious figures gathered; the Santa hat probably helps him look playful like that.

I couldn’t tell you what they’re all doing in this passage, tonight. None of them are talking and I wonder if I’ve come by a tripper’s backstage pass by happenstance, permitted to be seeing anything at all. What are they all guarding, perched like festive soldiers in my head? Is it what happens to sugar plums over time? Did the little girl across the street just wave at that misfit toy? Fuck, it’s freezing.

***

I don’t have anything, understand? What do you want from me? To write my heart out late at night when no one’s looking? Newsflash: I can’t help you.

So it’s almost here with the new year approaching, and I’m alive instead of dead. Some of the things I held the closest to me burst forth from the capsules I’d carefully preserved their memory in and began to show gratitude by snapping at my insides, tearing down every random organ and heart string they found.

Merry Christmas.

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