It is only November 1, and the mall speakers are blaring Christmas music already. The Christmas season hasn’t been a favorite of mine for many years. And each year the commercialization Christmas seems to start earlier. Hell, we haven’t had Thanksgiving yet, and Halloween was just last night!
The last Christmas I can remember that I actually got excited about, was nearly forty years ago. It was the last one before my mom died. Christmas was her time of the year. She saved a bit of the household money every month in an old Baking Powder can she stored on the top shelf in the kitchen. It was her insurance that she could provide my sister and I with a very memorable Christmas. She baked, made sure dad got a tree and had him set it up. She made a point of having the whole family help decorate it. My sister, like my mom, was and is still a Christmas person. All the presents were wrapped in bright paper, and placed under the tree. Me and my sister tried to guess what each one contained. It was a game we played every year. We had a wonderful Christmas Day.
But the following summer Mom came down with cancer and by fall she had passed. Christmas from that point on, was my dad buying some gifts, then giving them to my sister and me on Christmas morning. No wrapping paper, no excitement, just ‘here they are’.
Since that time I have dreaded the Christmas season with a passion. Currently, all it does is disrupt my mundane life. It screws up my television programs by removing the regular fare and replacing them with the continuous flow of Christmas reruns. Bah Humbug!
A bit about me, my name is Don Tonner, forty-seven, divorced for seven years. Fortunately, we’d had no children. My ex turned out to be Satan’s Spawn. The two years prior to our marriage was what I thought our marriage would be like after we tied the knot. Not So! Before her wedding dress came off, her horns had started to grow. That’s when she told me everything she wanted to change in me. NOT GONNA HAPPEN!
Turns out she didn’t like my job! I am a tool and die maker and at that time I was making a good income. Hell, I am still making a good income. She wanted me to lose weight, she didn’t like my house ... yes, my house!
I’d bought it when I was single, long before I’d met my ex. It was a three bedroom brick bungalow, in an old residential neighborhood in Westerville. I remember it was listed as a fixer-upper. Boy was that an understatement. The only good thing about it was the price, which was cheap.
After nearly two years of upgrades, it more than tripled in value. I liked it then, and I still like it, now.
One thing I was smart enough to have to have done prior to my marriage was to have a marital contract. What she brought into the marriage was hers, and mine was mine!
Two years later, to the day, she marched into the kitchen where I had prepared an Anniversary dinner with wine. She told me she’d had enough! I was never going to meet her expectations. She tore upstairs, I heard her in her closets and there were a number of bangs and thumps. She returned to the kitchen, screamed at me. Then she left in a waiting taxi. To this day, I really don’t know what she said when she left. Hell, I didn’t know I hadn’t met her expectations. In bed, I had always brought her to numerous climaxes.
My love life since the divorce is what you might call spotty. I have been laid nine times. Three times I had to pay for it. The other six were a result of too much drink for both of us, but I managed to stay sober long enough to lay my partner.
I am one of the lead hands at ‘Franklin Tool and Die.’ I have been a loyal employee for fourteen years. I have qualified for every bonus that was put up for me and my crew.
I learned very early in life that my investment abilities were the shits. I lost all kinds of money on hare brained schemes. Then, I saw the light!
During one my lunch breaks, I was musing in my mind about the last horrendous loss of five thousand dollars, when I heard two of my co-workers talking about their retirement, and they kept referring to a ‘Paul Bradford.’ Later, I asked one of them who he was. Paul Bradford was, and is, an investment broker for a reputable company. Two weeks later, Mr. Bradford had a new client: me! Over the years, he has been true to his word. I have been receiving a good return on all my investments. When the market is good, I make more, when it is slow, I make less; but, I have yet to have a loss in all the years he has handled my money.
A couple of years ago, I stopped using my vehicle to travel to work. I now use Public Transit. Not only does it save me money, it also saves my sanity. I no longer have to put up with the morning and evening traffic. Time wise, it takes all of fifteen minutes more to take the bus compared to me driving to work.
Another item of interest is my fellow bus passengers. They come from all walks of life ... at least, I think they walk. Some of the getups they wear have me wondering if they are actually from this planet! Most must be employed as it seems the same group are on the bus each morning.
About two weeks ago, a new passenger appeared: a young lady, a very attractive young lady, sporting a mane of beautiful shoulder length red hair. During my short study of her attributes, she didn’t come up short in any one of them! She actually got off at my stop. The first time I saw her, I wondered if this was a onetime thing! Just being able to enjoy her beauty from across the bus isle was a great early morning perk!
I don’t know about your neighborhood, but at this time of year, all my neighbors attempt to outdo each other by installing the maximum number of lights and horrible blow up Christmas characters. My house is an island of sanity in the sea of bright lights: nada lights, and nada dumb characters.
It took me nearly three more weeks to figure my new bus mate actually worked at ‘Franklin Tool’, but in personnel. Plant workers use one entrance, which is guarded; and the office staffs use the main entrance. I didn’t find out with my investigative talents, but one morning when clocked in, there was a note on my time card to visit personnel at 11:35 am to update my personal information. I have nothing to update, really, but the company does this annually. Besides, it’s paid time.
When I left the floor at 11:30, my supervisor had been notified. I approached reception and advised her who I was and my mission. She asked me to have a seat, while she advised someone I was at reception. Then I saw her, my bus mate, my morning vision of beauty! She was approaching me, hand extended, with warming smile.
“Mr. Tonner, I am Avery Wilmore. Please follow me, this won’t take long.”
Hell, it can take as long as possible. She looked great on the bus, but following her, I am overwhelmed with her scent, a haunting floral mixture, and her bottom, what a bottom! Her skirt actually molded to her beautiful butt cheeks, giving a full view of her hips, and the valley between them. The movement has my old buddy having some naughty, and not Christmassy, thoughts.
She leads me her office, invites me to sit. At her desk she grabs a folder.
“Now I know who you are! I see you on the bus each morning. It is good to get a name for the face.”
“We are bus mates. It is good to know you as well.”
“Let’s get down to business!”
It took all of ten minutes to review my file, she asked a question, and to all, my response was ‘no change.’ Before leaving she stood and offered her hand. It is so soft, my eyes are on her breasts which are not large but well formed, and more than enough runs through my mind. Her face, hmm, her face, beautiful well-formed full lips, currently coated with a very ‘kiss me’ lip gloss, her eyes are a sparkling green, then I realize I am staring, and Miss Wilmore knows I am staring! A whist full smile crosses her face. Now I feel really stupid.
“I should be getting back to work. Thank you for your time M...”
“It is Miss, now.”
My thoughts are to get the hell out of Dodge before I do something stupid. Beautiful women have that effect on me. I turn and head for the door.
Then I hear,
“Mr. Tonner, are you attending the company Christmas party?”
I have never attended any company functions since joining, fourteen years ago. Quickly, I am trying to come up with an answer!
“I hadn’t made any plans. Are you attending?”
“I don’t have much choice, it’s one of my jobs to organise it. It’s the company’s major annual event for all of the staff. The company goes all out with great food and a live band. You should come.”
What can I say? It is actually the last thing on my mind for that weekend. But...
“I can try. I don’t think I have anything on for that weekend, I will check.”
“I would love to see you there, Don.”
Back in my work area, my mind attempts to analyze Avery’s question and comments. She can’t be interested in an old fart like me! I have the sexual appeal of wet rag! She has access to all my personal information as to my age, marital status etc. But it does have me pondering!
The next morning, I start living dangerously! I look for Avery and take the seat beside her. I ignore the Christmas music flowing through the bus speakers.
“Do you mind the company?”
“No, actually, I will enjoy it. Sometimes I wonder where some of our co-passengers come from.”
“That is one thing we have in common!”
.... There is more of this story ...