Christmas with Hank


December 23, 1981


Pauly has decided to stay home this Christmas eve. He says it’s too much, too many year of the same shit over and over.

I guess I understand. But Hank won’t.

Hank is a romantic and of us in terms of fifteen years ago.

Pauly says he just wants some quiet time alone with Jane.

“Last year we ran around from this place to that place and it drove her nuts,” Pauly said. “This year Jane has only one day in the north before she has to return to Philly and I don’t see enough of her as it is.”

I told him I understood; secretly envying the exotic life he lived in this old house up on the top of this mountain. I also wished I had someone like Jane to share this Christmas Eve with.

My on-and-off girlfriend said she’s sick so I’m on my own – and I feel lonelier than ever on account of it.

Hank called last night to tell me of his plans, and if I had someone like Jane I could beg off the way Pauly is, but I don’t, and I’m condemned to spend the night wandering around with the boys just as I have every other Christmas eve for the last decade..

Garrick will be with us this year, too. He’s had other options on other years, but never got over the love of his life he had a decade ago.

I keep hoping for a last minute reprieve, a call from my ex-wife out west, who I would like to see, but know that it won’t be possible – not yet.

Garrick said he would like to do something different this year.

“How much can it hurt us going to some dark little bar, where we can pick up some girls?” he asked.

Hank doesn’t like the idea. He said we can pick up girls any other day of the year. This is our night. Besides, the only people we’re going to find in a bar on Christmas Eve are people as lonely as we are.

“You don’t want to hang around with depressing people like that, do you?” Hank asked.

I bite my tongue to keep from saying that’s exactly what we plan to do, we three lonely kings looking for Christmas, while thinking of the women we’d really liked to be with.

I know Garrick still thinks about his ex. But I don’t know whether Hank still pines over Peggy and her kid the way he once did. If he does, he puts on a good front and it hasn’t stopped him from seeking out every other woman he could possibly make love to.

“Fuck him,” Hank grumbled in reference to Pauly. “If he wants to spend time with Jane instead of us, that’s his misfortune.”

Garrick and I exchanged looks, both of us knowing that we’d trade places with Pauly in a heart beat, and so would Hank.

But alas, the plans are set; we’re going to be spending another Christmas with Hank.


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