The Spirit of Christmas

jan windle

He'd said, "See you Sunday." All day, no call, no text. She must face it. The charisma has gone. Age? No, maybe when she got strong enough to be alone.

More likely, he's too busy, like all of them.

She sits in the bar in the piazza Tasso. Outside the glazed partition is a low forest of fir trees that looks as if they've sprouted from the pavement. They bear red baubles and tiny golden lights. Thank god they don't flicker, she thinks. No, the only movement is in the palm trees. The gold lights run down the spines of their lower leaves making swaying Roman arches. The block opposite ("Rosy's Souvenirs") is outlined along all its angles with gold bulbs. Dominating the piazza, the huge cone of the Christmas Tree. A hundred feet high, or more. Every frond bears a little golden lamp. She is enchanted.

She forgives him. She'd rather be here. She has emailed to him: Sorry you cannot spare me your time. But thank you for the lesson. I needed it.

Now she is at peace. Christmas spirit floods her veins, along with the red wine that the bar serves in such large glasses.