Monday, December 07, 2009

A Long Ago Christmas Party

The rare men clustered near the glow of the fireplace—solid, beefy, upright masses, ruddy-faced prime rib well-marbled in bespoke suits. To a man, their freshly-shaven necks bulged over starched white collars bound tightly with ties, tradition and decorum defying the warm festivity of the carpeted living room. Thick hairy paws exited their french cuffs; one paw each held a squat cylindrical glass, formless icebergs tinkling within miniature amber seas. The other paw casually held a cigarette—the men murmured and laughed, each cocooned within the self-perpetuating cloud of his own making.

Their women clustered musically at the far side of the room. They were freshly-baked confections, delicate crusts browned in just the right places, frosted and iced and dusted and topped with sprinkles, redolent of cinnamon and citrus and vanilla. They held pale pastel drinks in crystal glasses that served as exclamation points at the end of their tiny delicate hands.

Warm side, cool side. The children look on, mystified.

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