The ghosts have come and done their work and gone, but I need a higher dose each Christmas. More ghosts!
And so, in a shop under the railway station, near where the old women beg for themselves and their dogs, I bought a fruitcake.
Now half of it is gone. I mean to describe it in detail if a piece holds still on my plate long enough. As I recall, though, this fruitcake has chunks of alien-sweet green and yellow and red, and gooey dark blobs that could be anything – bakers's thumbtips, lost mice – cured with a deep, deep, trance-inducing sweet.
But just now, while I type this word and this, from the radio on the bare wooden table in the kitchen, a violin plays "'tis a gift to be simple, 'tis a gift to be free," and I will take it for a sign to be quiet and to make the morning tea this Christmas Eve.