Friday, February 09, 2007

How I Spent Xmas, 2006: Part I


The dome at night. A partial moon hangs high overhead, its argentine light shining brilliant but cold through the enormous skylight above.


* * * * * *


I lay supine on the couch, listening to the dome creak intermittently around me.

Sometimes it's good to just sit, and listen. No distractions, no tv, no music even. No drunken revelers, no church services -- in short, complete solitude.

Until I heard a thump far above on the roof, a clattering, and then a huge shape fall past the picture window. It crashed into the deck railing and then over and out onto the lawn below.

A groan of pain and then, "Fucking dome!" came faintly up from outdoors.

I got up and rushed outside to see what the hell had happened.

And be damned if it wasn't an enormous fat man in a red suit and white beard, groaning as he struggled to his feet. I couldn't tell if it was his enormous girth giving him the trouble, or if it was the forty foot fall he'd just taken.

"Santa!" I cried, once more an eight-year old boy.

"Uh... Oops," Santa said sheepishly. "You mind if I come in for a bit and recuperate?"

"Yeah, yeah, of course -- c'mon in, please do."

I got Santa in and settled in a recliner. "Can I get you something? Milk, maybe? I don't have any coffee -- don't trust the stuff. Ooo, I know -- how about some pineapple juice?"

Santa grinned and rubbed his hands. "Oh, yes, that'll do nicely. Thankee kindly, young man."

I poured about half a liter of fresh p-juice into a frosted mug and pressed it into Santa's hands. He downed about half of it in a long pull and wiped the residue from lips and snowy white beard with the back of his hand.

"Oh, that's nice, lad," Santa enthused. "Five billion glasses of milk in one night's a bit much, wouldn't'ya say?"

I nodded.

He paused, ruminating. "If someone put a gun to my head, and said, 'You must select one favourite beverage, or I'll blow your fucking head off...' I'd have to go with pineapple juice, that most delicate and beautiful of nectars."

"Santa," I replied, "I know exactly what you mean. We are just the same."

We smiled at each other, happy in our shared solidarity for the love of pineapple juice. But then a sneaky thought came creeping into my head on little cat's paws. Dare I ask?

Of course. "Um, Santa?"

"Yes, young man."

"Uh, what would you say to a little taste of the sweet leaf?"

"Tea?"

"Um, no -- not quite. THC, maybe..."

"Do you mean that sweet green leaf, then? Ganj? Marijuana?"

"I mean the very same."

Santa paused and considered. He twiddled his thumbs. He tapped a few paradiddles on the arm of the chair. "Young man, I do believe a little taste would do me just fine."

"Santa, just call me Greg."

I went into the kitchen and pulled out my stash for guests -- the one that contained the good stuff, fresh in from New York. Five hundred bucks an ounce and worth every penny. I then removed my trusty bluebird from the refrigerator, the water nice and cold, and stuffed the bowl with a small quantity of blue-green aromatic herb.

"Oh, man, Santa -- this stuff will fuck you up. Here, take a smell."

I placed the bag under his nose and Santa inhaled deeply.

"Whoa, take it easy man," I chided, "it's not like it's coke."

"Oh, that is nice," Santa breathed. "Man, I haven't smelt weed like that since Babylon fell."

"Well, let's light this shit up, then. You do the honors, Santa."

Santa took the bong in hand and applied flame to the bowl whilst inhaling deeply... and promptly coughed out a huge plume of white smoke. He coughed a series of huge racking coughs -- the ones that sound like the lining of your lungs are being hacked out.

I just laughed. "Damn Santa, you gots to know that weed's a little more powerful now than in Babylonian times." I laughed again. "Dude, you're gonna have a powerful buzz now. I hope you don't get paranoid."

"Nah," he replied. "I'm pretty cool. I only got paranoid once, and that was 'cause this disgruntled elf laced my regular stash with some PCP. Shit, man" Santa chuckled, remembering. "I was running around the North Pole naked, screaming that I could fly, flapping my arms like a damn pelican. I almost got frostbite on my pecker, and it took Mrs. Claus three hours to calm me down... Fucking elves!"

"That's heavy, man." I took the bong from him and hit it myself. I held the smoke deep in my lungs as long as possible and then let it out in a huge blue-white plume that slowly rose to the ceiling, making pretty serpentine contrails in the dim light.

"Santa?"

"Yeah."

"Let's get out of here. Take a ride."

"Suits. But my sleigh is totally trashed."

"No problem. We'll take the Caddy."


* * * * * *


We were cruising slowly through North Attleboro, Santa putting the finishing touches on a Wendy's Triple with cheese and large fry, when I spotted a chick in a set of khaki capris and a white blouse loitering outside the entrance of some dive bar.

"Well I'll be dipped in butter and pan-fried," Santa swore around his last mouthful. "Doesn't that chick know it's colder'n a witch's tit out?"

"That's no ordinary chick, Santa, that's little Bittersweet. She's really slumming tonight, though."

And lo, while we were talking, she had latched herself onto a little chicken-wing of a boy. Young, thin, clad in jeans and a black leather jacket, they walked arm in arm towards a vehicle in the back.

"Christ, I knew this was gonna happen. Sage is off meditating on some mountain top, and Bittersweet has reverted to her old predatory ways."

Santa had a long roll of parchment on his lap, a set of pince-nez held to his eyes. "Bittersweet... Bittersweet... ah, yes, here she is. Oh, my, she's been quite naughty... a lump of coal at best for this one."

"Aw, Santa -- she's not so bad. Just a bit misguided, really."

We cruised up to the couple and I lowered my window.

"Yo, Bittersweet, why don'tcha let that poor chicken-wing go and come cruise with us?"

The boy chose that moment to get tough. He thought he was going to score with this fine chick. He could already picture those blonde dreadlocks cascading around his waist, and he'd be damned if some bald fuck and a fat man in a red suit were going to prevent him from knocking one out.

"Hey, you bald fuck, why don't you move on before I kick your fucking ass?"

I put the Caddy into Park, and got out.

"You know, Son," I said, "many girls find bald men quite attractive."

"Maybe they do, he sneered, "but they don't like fat bald fucks like you, old man."

"Did you say 'fat'?"

"I did. Pathetic little fat man, you are. National joke."

"I suppose next you'll call me a chubby little loser."

The chicken-wing laughed, and I laughed too.

"What? You saw that episode of the hit television series 'Extras', too?"

"Yeah, yeah -- fucking brilliant. David Bowie's best tune in years."

I put my arm around the chicken-wing companionably. "I know, man, that show kicks ass! Look -- let's not fight anymore. I tell you what, I've got a fat spliff that we can smoke up..."

I stopped as the end of a fairly large and sharp knife came out the front of the chicken-wing's throat. Bittersweet cradled the boy to the ground and removed the knife from his neck.

"Oh, shit, Bittersweet, was that necessary?"

"What?" She wiped the blood off the knife on the boy's jeans and placed it back into the scabbard at the small of her back. "Maybe you'll think twice next time before fucking with my prey..."

She hopped into the Caddy, onto Santa's lap, and gave him a big hug. Santa, confronted with the reality of a lovely young woman sitting on his lap and hugging his enormous torso, melted. Chide him not, for mayhap only a Catholic priest would be able to resist such blandishments.

Back on the road, Santa and Bittersweet continued snuggling. She reached deep into her pants pocket and pulled out a foil packet. "Keep 'er steady, Greg," Bittersweet directed, "this is some beautiful and expensive shit -- I don't want it all over the floorboards. Santa, you want to chip a little of this dust?"

Santa refrained from caressing Bittersweet's breasts long enough to take a look at the packet. "And what kind of dust is that, little one?"

"Santa, this is only 98% pure white heroin, cut with a little opium, direct from Thailand. A little of this and you'll be feeling so too fine..."

"Well, now, don't mind if I do. And in return, a little dust for you." And he reached deep into an inside pocket of his red velvet suit, produced a vial of his own, and handed it to Bittersweet. And then, with nary a pause, Santa directed his big red nose towards the foil packet and inhaled hugely. He appeared as though to sneeze, but mastered it.

"That's good smack, Santa -- it'll come on in a few minutes. What's this stuff?"

"That, my dear, is the finest magic dust from the North Pole you can get. I've got a team of elves that cultivate it. That's all they do. Go ahead, give it a shot."

Bittersweet opened the vial and scooped up a quantity of the dust with the attached tiny silver spoon. She placed it at her left nostril and inhaled quickly. Another scoop -- into the right nostril. Her face turned bright red, then just as quickly back to normal, and then her entire body started to shimmer faintly. Her outline grew somewhat translucent -- the dash of the Caddy faintly visible through her torso -- and then she appeared to melt slightly, matching curve for curve the contours of Santa's pendulous frame.

"Goddamn, Santa! What the fuck?!"

"What? How do you think I get down chimneys and such? It's a bio-morphism powder -- loosens the ligaments, minimizes bone density -- your body now has a viscosity comparable to molasses."

And in fact, Bittersweet was slowly oozing down Santa's torso and pooling in his lap.

"Santa," I said, somewhat concerned. "Do you think that was wise?"

"Aw, she'll be alright. That little dose she took -- it'll wear off in about a minute."

And in fact, Bittersweet re-solidified with an audible pop. "Oh, man! that was nice. Feels just like you're floating on clouds while someone massages your entire body. I could really get used to something like that."

And in fact, Bittersweet dipped the spoon into the vial for another go.

"Hang on!" I cried. I swerved into the right lane and took the 295 South exit. I accelerated onto the on-ramp and merged into traffic doing about 85. I set the cruise control and said, "Santa, take the wheel, I've got some stuff to do in the back seat. "

In the back seat, I opened the pass-through compartment to the trunk and removed a face-mask, attached tubing coiling into the darkness of the rear compartment. I applied it tightly to my face, and inhaled deeply. The nitrous oxide hit me like a hammer, and I laid back on the seat, laughing like a loon. I took another whiff and passed it up to Bittersweet. "Carpe diem and ipse dixit!"

Twisted to the gills, we headed south into the night.