Where I grew up, Christmas was cold. God jizzed from the sky and everything was covered in a beautiful white. Then Christmas would arrive and we'd open presents, drink hot chocolate, and huddle around the fire. Fights between my mom and dad were almost inevitable. We'd eat some ham, followed by more fights, and then eat some pies. And then it was over.
Christmas in Los Angeles is weird. It's warm, it's sunny, and there's no noticeable difference from summer. Except that the sun sets a hell of a lot earlier. So when I hear Christmas music blaring from the shops as I pass by, it pisses me off. Mainly because I hate Christmas music, but also because I keep thinking it's June. Or July. August. And I think, "who the fuck is playing Christmas music in the middle of August?"
I'm walking down the street in a red velvet suit and a dirtied white beard around my neck like a necklace because I have no idea what I got into last night. Stumbling past the open doors of stores playing Carol of the Bells and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, children are coming up to me with their lists of toys they hope to see under the tree. I'm halfway through my cigarette, holding my bottle in a brown paper bag, telling this one kid he's a spoiled, greedy, little brat and trying to figure out why his mom is letting him talk to me. But then I notice she's playing on her cell phone and couldn't give a fuck about her son.
After I flick my cigarette toward his mom and tell the kid to fuck off, I make my way to the Goodwill because, you know, it's sort of my job.
Browsing the aisles, I hear a small Mexican child shout, "Santa!"
"Sorry, Pedro," I say. "I'm an impostor," and I pull the beard up over my face, gesturing to keep quiet with my index finger over my lips.
I go to the clothing section and trade my costume for a three piece suit, undressing right there. A clerk yells at me and tells me I can't try on the clothes in the middle of the store. I hold up a ten and he backs off.
I put my Santa suit on the hanger and put it on the rack and head over to the electronics. I grab a VCR off the shelf and go to check out.
I pay four dollars for the VCR and walk out, totally forgetting to pay for the suit.
ADDENDUM: The VCR is a Sony SLV N-88. I don't know shit about it. I don't own a TV. But the suit is nice. Pinstripes. If only it fit right.