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