Friday, November 23, 2007

The Day After

And so they found themselves, as happens after numerous meals comprised of fowl and root vegetables, squash and beans, bloated and satiated, happily drowsy and gazing into a glass of wine or tea, contemplating the coming day, usually devoted to the purchase of gifts, for others and oneself, gifts in celebration of the approaching winter holiday, obtained this day at a drastic discount in order to save money for other purchases: the festive evergreen, the white lights that blazed like candles, the shiny silver balls that reflected back the spherical faces of children hoping to decipher the cryptic messages of box and bow, the candy canes, and the secret coveted gift, the one each so desperately wanted and yet failed to articulate so that when the holiday came and went without the gift being given or received, the desire remained secret and so the disappointment, but perhaps a little extra income remained so that the one who desired the secret gift could buy it for herself and keep it secret, only taking it out at established intervals and cherishing it in that way that only secret possessions are cherished, with a concealed fervor that stands in for all secret desires, private hopes, thwarted passions, and so this day, gazing into the scarlet liquid they can almost see the peaks and valleys of the impending season, what may come to pass and what will, how things hoped for and imagined rarely, if ever, came to pass, instead those coming days bore a striking resemblance to the days already passed, and those resembled the days before and so on, so that life, interrupted by feasts and famines, was really, when they stopped to think about, nearly always the same.


ErinAlice said...

Well said...although I must say I am glad that I don't spend every day eating pumpkin pie for breakfast before heading out to shop at ridiculous o'clock in the morning.

Lisa B. said...

So . . . did you or did you not go shopping? I am trying to read between the lines about desire and fulfillment and what I really want to know is: did you, or did you not, go shopping? Tell!

Nik said...

Yes. I want to know what the nonpresented present is.
Very O Henry.