Christmas Eve


It is a private Christmas Eve party: a formal banquet. The men are dazzling in their hunting jackets and bright goretex caps, flipping up the earflaps casually as they enter the room and begin shaking hands. Life preservers hang elegantly from the women, every strap perfectly adjusted and buckled. They all wear pylons on their heads and beneath the square rubber brims a few curls of cinnamon hair are plastered to foreheads and ears are hung with jewels the size of kumquats. On the wall hang elegantly framed roadside signs—MEN WORKING, DANGER—and in the corner is a barricade with stripes and a blinking safety light. There is a television set whose chrome knob is twisted all the way to the left displaying a crackling fire. All of these objects are admired by the guests as they circulate. The appetizers are passed around: cheetoes impaled on fancy toothpicks. The guests laugh delightedly and nibble their cheetoes, raised pinkies glittering with cheetoe-dust, commenting on their exquisite freshness and granular texture. The squash and cheddar soufflé will soon be removed from the oven. It has been left to solidify as the heating coils cool. Its aroma fills the room. Guests sip their Grand Marnier or Absolut Citron Screwdrivers and occasionally stop to admire the sun setting. In one corner a conversation goes:

—I am having a problem with rabbits and donkeys.

—The rabbits keep coming into my garden and eating the carrots I need to hang before my donkeys...

—I don't know how to keep the rodents out.

—I have set up a fence around my garden—electrified—but for every six rabbits who electrocute themselves one will still manage to get in.

—So I have started to hang more and more of my carrots on rabbits instead of donkeys.

—Rabbits are not the same as donkeys certainly—that is like comparing apples with a different fruit altogether.

—My donkeys are malnourished and surly, but its worth giving the rabbits the carrots, if only to keep them out of my garden.

It is time for dinner and they slowly shuffle out of the room leaving half-finished drinks and cheetoes. Some of them move to set their drinks down on the coffeetable but cannot bring themselves to stoop so low. They moved in shuffling starts and stops towards the dining room.

Marma staggered elegantly a few steps towards the dining room in her sharp heels and stopped before a hung reproduction of Europe After the Rain hanging beside a box of Tide which sat on a pedestal beneath a glass dome. A Jack O’ Lantern flickered in the corner. She addressed Tang who also paused midway to the dining room. She said:

—Isn't it beautiful?



Table of Forms
Book | Info

Table of Forms
© 1996-2006
Dominique Fitzpatrick-O'Dinn
Spineless Books