Christmas Eve paces and peeks like a nervous bride with a too-tight dress.
I sail around in traffic with a cart designed to put food inside. I take it out and let it roll and tumble past the wrestler with a temper and on towards the happy man bagging and whistling and wishing me well.
The sound of bells is everywhere.
I sail around with my cart in a different kind of traffic designed to get me home, lucky if I am, and make it indoors. I take it out and put it in different places in my house. Places where I've learned over years of watching, helping, forgetting, and regretting sometimes.
I put the food away and listen as some things claw the insides of the bags they're in.
And I sit waiting for a girl to come by. The girl I love. The girl who calls me everyday.
It's time for our first Christmas.
It was different last year.
It was different the year before that.
It was different two years ago.
And there were never really two years that were exactly the same, come to think of it.
It'll be different next year.
And the year after that.
And if there was one year when it actually was the same as the one before I would hazard to suspect that something was wrong.
So I'll turn the lights on around me because it's getting dark quick. But I'll cherish the four and a half minutes we've gained.
I don't know when I'll call for them.
I don't know how they will get used.
I just know that I have to play this game just like everyone. The game of conjuring up happiness from the bottom of my feet to the tips of my hands on up to the back of my neck and the place where the ruler rests to tell me how tall I've gotten.
At least that's the game I play.
And just like I won't know when those four and a half minutes will get used I won't know when I'm winning the game. Because if we play it right and we play it long enough it ceases to be a game. Its beginning becomes void. And we hop off of the second hand we've been clinging to--stuttering and jolting us each forward move--and run around the face of the clock past the numbers, date, markers, and make.
All I know is that it's time for our first Christmas.
Let it begin now.
Let it be remembered.
And let it be different than every other one.
So far it's always been that way so I see no reason it won't today.
Merry Christmas, and thanks for reading.