Monday, December 21, 2015

The Curmudgeon’s Christmas

Sitting at his desk, fingers on the keyboard, and glasses dipped low on his nose, the old fart seemed intent on making a point. He sat in his top-secret lair, and enigma to all who he met when he ventured from his refuge of reclusiveness. In public, he seemed a rather good-humored sort. He smiled at the pretty girls, and always remembered to acknowledge the greeters at the retail monster where he shopped. Riding the electric carts for the disabled he winked at small children and waved back when they waved at him. He told everyone thank you whether they deserved it or not, and gladly gave up his spot in line, or out in the parking lot to others.

He paid his bills with a smile, and urged his friends (those few he had) to be safe. “I love you” came out of his mouth often and he never avoided a hug when it seemed the thing to do. He met an old friend the other day and the man kissed him on the cheek. It made him smile because it was that friend that taught him that public displays of affection had to do with fondness, warmth, friendliness, and love and nothing at all to do with lifestyle or gender.

It was when he was alone that the curmudgeon slinked out of its burrow. He did not particularly like the cars on the road as he made his way in the world. He never wanted to be out in the first place. The only reason he ever went out was to get away from the grouchy old bastard he lived with. Oh, by the way, he lived alone. Most of his bones ached, and he could not take the medicine that relieved the pain because it made him somnolent and too much sleep made him hurt even more than what had become usual. He carried a cane to help himself get around but it usually ended up forgotten or in the way when he tried to walk. More than once he lost his balance and fell as a result of not knowing the proper way to drive the damn thing.

He cussed at everything and everyone. At home, that is. He really did not mean the cussing’s but it served as a not too hurtful pressure release.(remember he only did it at home)  The truth was he dearly loved everyone and everything in his life. It was just that life had given him some hard circumstances to live with, and sometimes he had to bitch about it. The funny thing about his rants is that he would tell others that he was not the complaint department, and to take their nonsense elsewhere. Life dealt losing hands as well as winning, but it was life, and tomorrow was another day.

Sitting at the keyboard gave him immense pleasure and occupied most of his time. Either sitting and writing, or reading, listening, and watching what happened around him was his line, but only to serve as grist for the mill that became his writing. He had published himself online, and actually supported himself by writing for folks who were willing to pay. He was poor, but the God of his understanding had also been poor when he walked the earth.

This particular evening, he had decided to write for the pure joy of it and possibly not for publication. He did that often and enjoyed it much more than getting paid, or the compliments that came his way from time to time. This eventide found him three days shy of the anniversary of the birth of the God of his understanding, and sentimental ruminations of days gone by filled his head and made him want to go and get a Christmas Tree. He had no presents to give, and did not seek any. This year was not a celebratory time for him, but he decided to yield to the irritating smiles and the “Merry Christmas’s” that came his way. The only thing he had was what was in his head and came out of his fingers at the keyboard. He thought to write everyone a Christmas card, and email it out. Unfortunately, being of a discerning nature where it came to most of life, and particularly in his writing he quite simply could not think of a few words that expressed his feelings. This meant that he had to write a bunch of words. At the thought of that, he discovered himself in an entirely agreeable mood. 

He knew if he wrote a piece, something long enough and of suitable substance, he would put it out on his website and inform those in his universe that he had once again enlightened the world with wisdom and erudition. The idea made him smile and overlook his more cantankerous leanings. It also made him recognize that the message contained in the piece would probably be read by but a few. The rest would just have to simply live with the knowledge that the old geezer had typed some crap and put it on the web

He stared at the screen for a few minutes and poked the Caps Lock and typed:


He copied and pasted into the subject line of the announcement message and went about writing the rest of the piece. Once finished, he proofed it and began the process of posting it. He did not think about it again until the afternoon of the eve of the anniversary of the birth of the God of his understanding.

He received a call from a friend that required action on his part. The friend had no presents to give his kid and did not really know how to do that kind of shopping. The divorce he went through when he went to prison left him useless where it came to domestic things. The oldster told him to keep his cool and wait for him to come get him.

He pulled on his clothes and coat, brushed his hair and beard, and after checking the weather forecast, put on his hat. He walked to the back door and opened it to leave. He found things as he thought he would, the little guys were polishing the sleigh while others had the reindeer brushed, fed, and harnessed, and the huge bag was as full as it could get with wrapped boxes with bows and glitter. “All set, Boss,” the head midget told him as he handed the old man his gloves. “Looks like snow.”