Memorabilia: A Collection of Shorter Stories

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Xmas of Doom

His skin was an ashen brown. If he’d be a white guy, he’d look like he’d died recently. But he wasn’t white; he was brown. You might have mistaken Mike for a normal guy, until he looked at you. Then, you knew you were facing someone you should be scared of; however, I wasn’t scared and he knew it. I think that’s why he decided we were friends. I can only imagine what his reasons were for abandoning any family plans for xmas to hang out with me, and I’m sure there were a few, but there he was waking me up for round two of our shared bender on Xmas day.

The night before had been eventful, to say the least. Our Xmas eve had begun by a rather obvious intrusion into the lives of the lost souls on East Hastings. In the manic panic that is Christmas Eve on Main and Hastings, we stood out. Our faces lacked the dry shallowness of someone questing for heroin or cocaine. Mike might have the face of a soldier fresh from the front lines, but he was no addict. Faces whirled by, stopping to talk or gesture to him, as he was well known on these streets. You see, Mike is a member of the United Nations Gang, and a high ranking member at that. I believe they call him a sergeant. He certainly acted like a soldier. A soldier in a war no one can ever win.

Christmas 2010 came and went and I lost my phone, my family dinner and probably the respect of my family for missing the latter. I’m ok with this. If Christmas isn’t about standing beside a lost soul when he needs you, then I want nothing to do with Christmas. Mike doesn’t know it, but I felt his pain, his rage and his longing for a life outside of the one he is destined to. You can’t change who you are. You can choose to hide from it, safely if you want, but who you are remains. Mike refuses to hide or be safe and I’ll respect him for that. Now, I just hope I see him again so I can get my phone back.

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