Sunday, December 6, 2009
I’m alone at a Christmas party, wearing a bad sweater, sporting windblown hair, drinking some hearty eggnog ladled from a punch bowl and there’s some guy I don’t know trying to tell me how it’s made. Separate the egg yolks, he says, and I nod, sipping a rich mixture that brings back memories of Christmases past. Rising in the dark dawn for action figures and bikes. Carefree eves of parties, ice cold walks to midnight mass with friends. I move to the cheese table, stuff cheddar into my mouth. This guy goes on: whip the cream, not too much, then fold it in. To the stereo, other guests in loose huddles talking tv shows and retirement planning. The folding’s important, he says. Don’t I know, I say. I’m making the circuit and eventually, I end up on the porch, no coat, a cold bite in the air. He’s there. Rum, brandy, and whiskey are essential, he says. You got that, I say, my glass now empty. It’s silent except for a whistling breeze, bells in the distance. I admire your acumen, I say, but my interest is in drinking. He nods, shuffles back inside. Snowflakes trickle to the ground. I stand at the porch’s edge, alone, looking at the starry sky.