Tuesday, 25 December 2012

memoir writer homework-first christmas away from home.

Thirty three years ago I moved from New Brunswick to Alberta.Over that summer,I traveled all over the west.I was working in construction,but things got slow in mid December,so I was laid off.I was living in Edmonton,Alberta.A few days before Christmas,an envelope arrived from home.Inside was a plane ticket.My first Christmas away from home wasn't going to happen that year.Except that I wouldn't be getting on the plane until Christmas night and would not arrive home until the day after Christmas.

Christmas Day that year was an odd one.Very warm and foggy.Eleven degrees Celsius.It looked more like Halifax or Vancouver,and because it was Christmas,there was nothing at all going on.Except of course at the house across the street.But it wasn't just a house,exactly.All day the men kept coming and going.That house was owned by a woman who lived in the house next door.Christmas was it's busiest day'

I lived in a rooming house.All of the other roomers were old men.Two were away,two were home.The old guy downstairs came home Christmas morning making a lot of noise as he stumbled in and tried to unlock his door.When he saw me he shouted Marry Christmas in a loud,drunken voice.And he told me a joke."Do you know why the Christmas Story could never happen in Alberta?"

Without waiting for my answer,he bellowed"because nobody could find three wise men and a virgin."Usually this guy was very quiet.

The other room mate was an old man called Ed.He liked to talk about escaping from Russia as a child at the time of the revolution.They had traveled across Siberia,to Vladivostok,then lived in Japan for a time,before moving to Indiana,where he went to school at Anderson College.It was a fascinating story if you had a few hours to spare,but I'd heard it before more than once.So I was trying to avoid Ed,who had a tendancy to forget that he'd ever told the story before.

At mid day I walked up the street to the corner store.I wanted to get some coke and something to eat and there was very little else open.As I was going away.I had nothing in the refrigerator.And of course,part of the purpose of going to the store was to flirt with Brenda,the clerk.But,as she was Old Order Mennonite,that wasn't going anywhere.

When I got home,Ed met me at the door.I was going to call,to book a cab for the trip to the airport,so I asked to use his phone.He would not hear of it.He would drive me to the airport,and he wasn't going to take no for an answer.So,he spent the rest of his day telling me his stories,about Christmas in Russia just before the revolution.At least they were new stories.At ten o'clock at night we got into his van and we were off to the airport.On the way,we spun out after hitting a patch of black ice,and we nearly hit a tree.But we arrived safely,and,ten minutes after Christmas ended,I was in the air,flying out over the Canadian Prairies in the dark.I arrived at dawn in Toronto,then went on to Montreal,where I had to wait over four hours in a nearly deserted airport.In a few hours I would be home.

No comments:

Post a Comment