Maybe I “hate to love” writing, but I wouldn’t call it a “guilty pleasure.” This morning I woke up and realized that my current anti-social state of mind is related to the fact that I’m starting a new story. I think I would be difficult to be friends with as it’s kind of manic — “People I love you! Wow! People! Friends!” then “No c’mon, leave me alone, what do you want from me?”
This is about my favorite Christmas song.
Part One, 1956
I am 4 or 5. Small enough to sleep in two arm chairs pushed together, facing each other. One of the arm chairs has velvety grey upholstery in a swirly design. The other, my favorite, is red velvet. I sleep the strange sweet sleep of that place, of childhood. Outside the window is cold Montana, the clear dark pierced by stars and lit by a distant radio tower. Some nights there’s dance music coming from the Red Barn down the road. Among the songs is Gene Autry singing “Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” Trains whistle through the night.
It’s still dark when I hear her, coming out of her room, humming softly, tying on her apron, buttoning her sweater. She walks to the kitchen and lights the stove. I smell the fire catch. She comes back singing.
It came upon a midnight clear, that glorious song of old.
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