The Christmas Miracle
By Morgan Boyd
It’s Christmas eve, and my wife thinks I’m out buying a necklace for her, and a Barbie doll for my daughter at Walmart, but the truth is I blew the last of our cash on crack. Everything was peachy keen before the pandemic. My job afforded food, rent and amenities for my family, and crack for me, lots of crack. But once the plague hit, everybody stayed home, the economy tanked, and I lost my means to a steady income.
I keep at it though. What else is there? I’ve got so many bills I can start a football team in Buffalo. Goddamn, I just need that one big payday, and bang: my family gets the Christmas they deserve instead of jack squat pissing down the stove pipe.
This is the one, I think, pulling my beater truck to the curb. Hustling up the walkway, I notice a security camera above the wreath laden door. Pulling my trucker hat down my forehead, I sprint up the house’s steps. I’m within inches of the package when the door swings open. Instinct throws me into hard reverse as a pile of a man appears on the porch.
“This ain’t the right house,” I say, practically jumping over my own ass to get back to my truck.
People get their heads blown clean off for this type of shit. It’s open porch pirate season. Hell, I’m no great philosopher or nothing, but it seems to me that something’s horribly wrong with our society when folks like me become less valuable than the contents of a brown cardboard package.
Looking back as my truck leaves the safety of the curb, I cut off a cop car. Shit, I don’t have a license or insurance. I don’t even have a pink slip. It’s going to be a merry Christmas in the clink.
Popo’s lights flash, and I contemplate stomping the gas, but before I make an incredibly stupid decision, Hawaii Five-O swerves around me, and guns it through a red light. I breathe a sigh of relief, and agree with myself to check my drawers when safe to do so.
As the sun sets, the cold, bitter realization that this year’s Christmas ain’t happening for me and mine hits me like a freight train hits a snowflake. The pang of regret explodes inside me like ghost pepper hot sauce, but the rueful ache of failure quickly dissipates into indifference as a UPS truck scutters by me down a cross street.
Following at a distance, I see the delivery woman pull over, and leave a package on a darkened porch. Scurrying up the path, I liberate the box and quickly disappear into the silent night.
Behind a strip mall, I park and open the package: a Christmas miracle! a bracelet and a child’s doll. It’s not exactly what my wife wanted, nor is the toy name brand, but any port will do in a storm. And holy shit. I’m no theologian, but it’s damn hard not to believe in jolly old Saint Nick in an instance like this.
Best Christmas ever, I think, heading downtown to pawn the bracelet and doll for a crack rock.