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i was having a beer at a bar with santa. he wasn’t happy with his current work situation, and was being a bit petulant about it. he was close to as drunk as i was, which was very, and was slurring about some girl who wanted to get too close for his liking. out a bright window i noticed some cirrus were cabbaging the sun’s corned beef, and i convinced santa that we should go out there for a smoke. his, “fuck yeah,” was garbled and breathy and stunk like rotten gums.

santa bummed a smoke off me, and we leaned against the brick wall outside there smoking.

i told him, “you can’t keep doing the same things and expecting different results.”

all he said was, “fuck off.”

i laughed and kept smoking. it was a nice, easy thing to be doing.

a cab came by and let off a few oddly dressed midgets. they both stumbled out and made a run for it. there were bells on their tiny shoes, and the bells jingled as they ran. santa and i liked that. the cabbie was pissed, but he couldn’t catch them. they fled into the lesser-known and darker alleys of night. santa liked this. he heckled the cab driver, calling him a fat piece of checkered shit. i’m not sure why checkered. it sounded good though. a good, tough thing to be saying. i liked it. the cabbie flipped off santa and then slammed his ajar backdoor closed before hopping back into his cab and squealing away. santa and i both laughed at him. the sky was that special kind of blue that tinges itself with purple and black. i blew some smoke at it, but the sky didn’t care. santa went back inside. i followed him.

it was better back inside the bar. somebody’d put love on the rocks on the jukebox. we sat back down and i ordered two scotch on the rocks for me and santa. it was nice, being able to treat santa. that made me feel real good about myself. he thanked me with a gruff shrug, picked up his drink, and downed it, even the ice, in one gulp. he raised his empty glass to me and shrugged again, slumping his shoulders and letting out a rather belligerent sounding belch. his fluffy collar was piss-yellow and covered with cigarette ash. i let him alone and concentrated on my own drink for a bit. it was a good scotch. i didn’t mind it so much.

“suicide runs in my family,” i didn’t say. instead i thought about saying it, and thought about somebody responding to it. i didn’t know what that somebody would say in response. it wasn’t worth thinking about anymore. i poured some more scotch into me. that made me feel better about just about everything.

when i’m not talking people tend to find me less annoying. i kept my mouth shut. i didn’t want to piss off santa. that’d be the worst.

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