Saturday, December 16, 2006

Part II: A Christmas Carol....

The Ghost of Christmas present...
" The moment Scrooge's hand was on the lock, a strange voice called him by his name, and bade him enter. He obeyed.

It was his own room. There was no doubt about that. But it had undergone a surprising transformation. The walls and ceiling were so hung with living green, that it looked a perfect grove; from every part of which, bright gleaming berries glistened. The crisp leaves of holly, mistletoe, and ivy reflected back the light, as if so many little mirrors had been scattered there; and such a mighty blaze went roaring up the chimney, as that dull petrification of a hearth had never known in Scrooge's time, or Marley's, or for many and many a winter season gone. Heaped up on the floor, to form a kind of throne, were turkeys, geese, game, poultry, brawn, great joints of meat, sucking-pigs, long wreaths of sausages,
mince-pies, plum-puddings, barrels of oysters, red-hot chestnuts, cherry-cheeked apples, juicy oranges, luscious pears, immense twelfth-cakes, and seething bowls of punch, that made the chamber dim with their delicious steam. In easy state upon this couch, there sat
Holly Golightly, glorious to see, who bore a glowing torch, in shape not unlike a long cigarette holder, and held it up, high up, to shed its light on Scrooge, as he came peeping round the door.

'Come in!' exclaimed the Ghost. 'Come in! and know me better, man.'"
Holly Golightly: "Dahling! Don't be frightened! It's Christmas! Oooooo! I love the new picture on your profile, much more dreamy than George Peppard ever was." (Peppard starred with Audrey in the classic film, "Breakfast At Tiffany's".) "You do so look like Harrison Ford tonight!" Cooed the phantom who looked remarkably like Audrey Hepburn from "Breakfast at Tiffany's". In fact I couldn't find one flaw - except I think today her blonde streaks would look much more natural. hairdressers blend everything so well today.
TN: "Is this another interview? Because I was so tricked in the the recent interviews I've done and I don't want to be taken advantage of again!" I warned, quickly adding, "Aren't you, Audre...."
HG: "Yes dahling it is me, or rather Holly...who'd you expect, Roz Russell? She's much too old - all those diamonds - they're tacky before forty ya know!" She said exhaling a large puff of smoke into my face. "Your interview days are over - we are so going to celebrate Christmas my angel!"
TN: "But you' you are so over 40!" I protested.
HG: "Not tonite Harry!" (She sounded so much like Kalista Flockhart, obviously referring to me as Harrison Ford! I looked in the mirror - oh my gosh! I look exactly like the picture on my profile - this is a magical night!) "Dahling - I'm Holly - Holly can never die - she most definitely is the ghost of Christmas c'mon - let's get going - I don't have much time..." And she jumped down calling for Cat and we were off!
We found ourselves outside a club downtown - the Village in NYC - not Minneapolis; we could feel the music pounding, resonating in my bones. Walking into the club, the dance floor was filled - just like the old Studio 54 - everyone dancing with lite-sticks, the women all dressed up in lame and with glitter everywhere, twinkling in the strobe lights. Playing was the remix version of one of Janet Jackson's songs, "Escapade" I think - switching suddenly to Toni Braxton's "C'mon Over Here", and then old stuff from Donna Summer - "Rumor has It" - on and on! Holly and I danced and everyone was watching us - I so forgot I was looking like my profile picture - with HER - in her "Tiffany's" Givenchy dress! I never felt so hot! (Forgive me that lapse into vanity!)
HG: "Now, Mr. Nelson - I'll give you exactly 15 minutes to stop being so fabulous!" She said laughing, throwing her hands in the air like she just don't care!
Moments later we were in the back bar, and there was my dear friend Kelly with my other 'club' friends, laughing, reminiscing about when I used to be out and about with them and all the strange things I used to do...
TN: "Holly, they thought I was fun! They actually miss me." Doing my Sally Fields Oscar acceptance speech imitation, I exclaimed, "They love me! They really, really love me!" Gaining my composure, I continued on a more sober vein insisting, " But I can no longer be out partying like this. The stuff I used to do wasn't very good....I drank too much, smoked too much...did 'lines' in the was fun - but I went home alone....and very, very sad. Sin isn't really fun you know."
HG: "Oh, dahling! Not when you're doing it...but, my heavens, you're absolutely right - what was I thinking - this isn't the life for you any longer!" She said laughing and quickly adding, "I think you went to confession about 12 times a week at the time your friends are referring to - this isn't the Christmas present we want for you." She winked mischieviously, adding, "Although it was fun!"
Suddenly I found myself at my sister's house, all aglow with my nephew Rob's lights. All of my nieces and nephews were there. Instead of the horrible Elvis Christmas music I always heard at Beth's house, they had lovely old Motown Christmas music playing, interspersed with medieval Christmas recordings, as well as Gregorian chant - with just a little bit of dance-trance stuff mixed in.
Everyone was laughing and watching old videos of myself doing and saying silly things. My sister Beth got tears in her eyes and said, "He's such a jerk, but I love him!"
While my loving nephew Todd, who looks exactly like Kevin Kostner, with his wife Carey, who looks exactly like Heather - you don't know who she is - but she looks like Catherine Zeta Jones - they lean over and hug Beth saying;
"Oh mom - don't be sad - uncle Terry has a lot of issues - it's not us! We know he loves you and misses you."
I looked at Holly, tears in my eyes, "That's my sweet nephew!"
Holly was drinking champagne and stroking Cat, looking up suddenly she said, "What?"
Instantly we were at the Lexington in St. Paul for the Company party - and I was being toasted! "To Mr. Scrooge!"
"'It's your Uncle Scrooge!'

Which it certainly was. Admiration was the universal sentiment, though some objected that the reply to 'Is it a bear?' ought to have been 'Yes;' inasmuch as an answer in the negative was sufficient to have diverted their thoughts from Mr Scrooge, supposing they had ever had any tendency that way.

'He has given us plenty of merriment, I am sure,' said Keevin, 'and it would be ungrateful not to drink his health. Here is a glass of mulled wine ready to our hand at the moment; and I say,"Uncle Scrooge!" '

'Well. Uncle Scrooge!' they cried.

'A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to the old man, whatever he is.' said Scrooge's friend Keevin. 'He wouldn't take it from me, but may he have it, nevertheless. Uncle Scrooge!'

Uncle Scrooge had imperceptibly become so gay and light of heart, that he would have pledged the unconscious company in return, and thanked them in an inaudible speech, if the Ghost had given him time. But the whole scene passed off in the breath of the last word spoken by his nephew; and he and the Spirit were again upon their travels."
TN: "Holly! They were toasting me! And they called me 'uncle' - I think Paul said that - or was it Ann?" I said in complete astonishment.
HG: "Honey - they just said you're 'gay and light of heart!" Holly said laughing hysterically, still smoking her long cigarette holder - which was no longer lighted.
TN: "Pay no attention to any of that - they meant funny, Holly - not gay! Geesh! This is so not KQ!" (A local radio station that accuses everyone of being gay.)!"
HG: Laughing, "Oh! Harry! You remind me a bit of Doc - you know - Loula Mae's husband who tried to get me to go back with him from New York." Getting all dreamy, Holly's eyes filled with tears, remembering her good-bye to Doc in the film, that wrenching scene in the bus depot.
Then Holly pointed towards Linda's house, my dearest friend in the world. It was a loveless marriage she was in, Fred was in his room, while Linda sat alone in the living room, smoking - I have always told her that is why she has so many bags and lines in her face - oops - that's Christmas future - sorry Linda...
TN: I shouted, "What is this? Why is she so sad?"
Linda sat gazing upon the Christmas tree with all of the ornaments I had painted for her and her mother, mesmerized by our Christmases past...
HG: "She's never been happy"
TN: "But Holly - I entered the monastery and she agreed to let me go - then she got married - or, after a long time she got married. But she always understood I could never marry. Just as she understood I will always love her." When I turned suddenly, albeit sadly, Holly was gone...And then...
"The bell struck twelve.

Scrooge looked about him for the Ghost, and saw it not. As the last stroke ceased to vibrate, he remembered the prediction of old Jacob Marley, and lifting up his eyes, beheld a solemn Phantom, draped and hooded, coming, like a mist along the ground, towards him." - Dickens, "A Christmas Carol"
To be continued...when...I don't know...the night is so long...


  1. Holly Golightly is a perfect ghost of Christmas present - that is very original!

  2. Terry, caro, this is all wonderful. I admit that I don't understand all the allusions to pop culture. I am SO dull compared to you! It is brilliantly written.

  3. And I thought the new photo really was you. Call me clueless.

  4. omigoodness!

    Can't wait for part three...

  5. Harry (er Terry): I can't believe, despite the fact that you will never wed, you aren't fighting the women off! You have such a way with a turn of phrase: lines and bags....ha-ha.

    I agree with Rhapsody. I'm really enjoying your series.

  6. I was confused. I wonder if Holly, the Ghostess of Christmas Present was really the Ghostess of Christmas Past and she got her Harry's mixed up.

    P'raps it wasn't Harry Ford she had you confused with, but a Twin Citian named "Harry" who is more her own age who she dragged down to Studio 54?

  7. Cathy - I laughed so hard at your comment!
    See - some people do get my humor - how silly is that to imagine someone sitting and smoking looking at the Christmas tree - mesmerized by our Christmas past?
    (Linda is so going to kill me that I made her Tiny Tim - or is she TT's mom?)
    Cathy - I can't stop laughing!


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