For Christmas, I received:
A six-pack of Budweiser, with a note from Dad. Start young, preempt disappointment.
An arched eyebrow and muttered menace when I didn’t thank him.
Another story about Mom. A reminder I had her eyes.
Rent and termination notices to burn.
Dad and me laughing at Bad Santa, Billy Bob Thornton sliding up an escalator drunk and kicking a fake donkey.
Christmas wisdom. Dad couldn’t explain why people left and lost jobs. He told me to be something. A writer. Writers dissected and confronted.
Each word was fervent, cracked, crumpled. I took them before they crumpled more.