A gift for Pauly


(Monologue version – my effort at magic realism and adaptation of the Dickens story)


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With two days off for Christmas, I had planned quiet time by myself.

Hank showed up Christmas morning.

I told him to leave me alone.

He said we had always celebrated the holiday together

He called it a tradition.

I called it mutual misery and if I had to be miserable on Christmas,

 I preferred doing it alone.

He called me Scrooge.

Then told me he had a present,

Thrusting it into my hands before I could say no.

Hand had played Santa Claus for years

Making a point to hunt up

Lost souls like mine

Even when I shut the door

He wouldn’t go away.

He stood outside and grinned at me.

When I motioned for him to leave

He waved

Finally I figured he wanted me to open his present

It was a John Denver album

Full of Rocky Mountain clap trap

Hank loved and I had come to hate

I threw the album out the door

Then went back to watching my videos

When the door bell rang I knew who it was

And didn’t answer

But Hank being Hank hung on the bell

Until I wanted to hang him

When I yanked open the door again

I found no Hank just the album

Though I thought I heard Hank

Cackling from near by

I tossed the album outside again

Then turned off the lights

Hoping Hank would think

I went back to sleep

And would find someone else to haunt

But when the bell rang again

I knew Hank would not stop

Until he had unloaded on me

His whole bag of Christmas cheer

So I decided to leave

I snuck out to where my car was parked

Hank popped up behind me as soon as the engine started

I fled down the highway

Hank followed

I stepped on the gas

Hank went faster, too

When I jerked the car around a corner

Hank turned in the same direction.

Although I eventually lost him

I know he’s still looking for me

Even though he’s been dead

All of these ten years


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