A Solitary Christmas

Never centre stage it seems, seen drinking morning coffee, always at the corner table,  walking down the street sometimes, over-staying at the counter, holding doors open for  strangers, tugging at a memory, now he walks unrecognised. A women askes her friend in passing ” Whose that guy who bought the paper, the one who held the door for me”, “No idea,” her friend replies, “Do you fancy going shopping?”

Always polite, a point of honour, a fragment passing by your life, living at address unknown, non-committal on his status, social circle unrevealed. Now he shares his life on Forums, picking up on random interests , noting comments made by strangers  who say “we are all family,” Still he lives unrecognised.

Christmas day he sits alone, nibbling on some kind of sandwich, playing with his recollections. Recalling phrases from a carol, sifting through his memories. Too polite to sit in judgement, he lost the will to blame it seems, Loved, perhaps in recollection, by lives who drifted off the radar: known but unrecognised

Is he an image of our future, reflecting on his obsolescence, lingering on the edge of contact, summoning his dignity, somehow older than surprise.

About Peter Wells aka Countingducks

Trying to remember what my future is
This entry was posted in character, community, creative writing, Environment, faith, Fiction, Life, Love, Relationships, Uncategorized, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to A Solitary Christmas

  1. elainecanham says:

    That was poignant and I loved the way it was written, but I’m fervently hoping that I don’t end up like that.


  2. Caroline says:

    A moment we should all reflect on. Beautifully written xxx


  3. Very touching and a little sad. For me this reads as a metaphor for ‘humanism’ and all of the little things that seem unimportant but actually make connections between us. It is a sad reflection on our materially driven lives that the things that really matter seem to become lost, and only missed when they are no longer around.
    Happy holiday.


  4. Laxmi says:

    I guess ageing does take its toll. The worst, I fear, is the lonesomeness. Very well written.


  5. As long as I can still remember all the good memories, I think I’ll be fine, alone and unrecognized.


    • Lorri says:

      There is nothing wrong with being alone…alone and lonely are two different issues. I am alone on Christmas, but have no qualms about it. I enjoy my aloneness.


  6. ~~~~Ducky,
    you continually tug at my heart and make me say AHhhhhhh.

    Xxx LOVE!


  7. Certainly nostalgic, but not entirely sad. If a person can be this comfortable when finally left alone with themselves, is that really all bad? Still able to pass the unrecognized smile, the bright spot? “Reflecting on his obsolescence” is a phrase that strikes me deeply, and not for the reasons you would think. I believe that one of the things stolen from us by the various forms of dementia is to find the path down off the merry-go-round. You can’t reflect on much at all, let alone the possibility that now may be the time to let go a bit; that you no longer must find work, that you can enjoy your children’s success without your constant aid, all the things that are signs of a life well lived. I miss this fellow in those robbed of this moment.


  8. Ina says:

    Good posting, good to point out the sadness of a solitary Christmas…


  9. It will be interesting to see how many people are on forums and blogging on Christmas day. The internet has taken away some of our personal contact with people but it has also given us many virtual friends who we sometimes can relate more with them than with those in flesh.


  10. He is not so contented with the life he lives now it sounds. Kind of reminds me of the Christmas Story by Dickens with a step back to look at reality before he can go forward to see what changes can be made before he can begin again. The possibilities are endless. We come to crossroads in our lives where we are ready to change, to grow, some people sooner, some later realizing human beings were not intended to be alone, but lives are to be shared. Maybe this Christmas will be the last one alone…my wish for him.


  11. He sounds like he’s from a better world than the rest of us, somehow. His alienation from others makes him a much better observer of humanity. Or are there less risks to be taken if his friends are all behind his computer screen? Very good writing – it made me stop and think about what solitude really implies, and if it isn’t a conscious choice for some.


  12. A melancholy piece Peter, beautifully expressed. I feel so blessed to have a terrific family around me and especially the addition of grandchildren which is making life so much richer. I cant imagine being alone; I guess we deal with whatever as it arrives. Food for thought though. I hope you have a good Christmas 🎄 Ive left a Christmas message on my blog. 😊


  13. There’s a poetic obscurity to this entry that’s a different tone from your usual, but I like the idea that there can be those in the world who we just stare past, or pass by, in our hurry to get from one place to another in our routine. As far as the electronic dimension of the message here–I think we’ve both experienced the real connections that can be made across great geographical distances through electronic communication…it says a lot about the world today, this entry. In today’s world, we have so many ways both to reach out to one another AND to just slip by unnoticed. I think some solitude is necessary, but it’s necessary to know how to keep a balance between the choice to reach out and the need to stand apart for a while, sometimes.


  14. babs50nfab says:

    The perfect piece for this time of year. We all need to recognize kindness, when we experience it, and offer it to those in real need. Nice!


  15. That is powerful, Peter. Yes, I see myself in him. I could be him if not for my wonderful husband. Sigh.


  16. nelle says:

    It’s a holiday I’m reticent to experience, given family disconnects. I can so relate to this person.


  17. This is a beautifully written piece. It reminds me to appreciate the time (and holidays) I have with family and friends. Wishing you all the best this Christmas season!


  18. Aditi says:

    Wow….the way you write beautiful!! Calls for some introspection…


  19. CKoepp says:

    Well done, but I wouldn’t call it sad. Then again, I’m okay with flying solo, even on holidays.


  20. backonmyown says:

    Beautifully written as always. Merry Christmas, Ducks.


  21. restlessjo says:

    Nope! I’m going over right now to give him a big cuddle 🙂


  22. sagedoyle says:

    I’ve awarded you the Blog of the Year Award 2013! (Forgive me if I’ve awarded you before and you declined, it’s hard to keep track of). There’s no obligation to accept, I understand completely if you don’t. Anyway, thanks for liking posts on my blog “The Journal of Wall Grimm.” I appreciate your coming by. For details about the award, please see my post http://wp.me/p41c99-oB Happy Holidays and have a peaceful and prosperous New Year! Sage


  23. I so love my solitary life in a full blooded society that I feel sad for those who feel lonely in life, life is such a short affair that its tough to be miserable for long.

    solo life sometimes cant be avoided, in that case, in place of becoming miserable one should make the best of that life.


  24. Jane says:

    There is such melancholy in this beautifully written piece. Having had a series of older parents, grandparents and in-laws who with age came such sadness for things undone. This is a reminder to live fully so there is little to regret. You can be alone in a circle of friends and family, in a crowd or solitaire. Being alone is a state of mind. Thanks for sharing,


  25. A good reminder for everyone to think about the folks who may seem to be forgotten. A little note, a phone call, the human heart reaching out to another. Thanks for the story, Peter.


  26. Julie Gym says:

    Oi, how you capture it and move the soul. Gifted, I say. Happy season, friend.


  27. Pingback: Christmas, 2013. | Back On My Own

  28. Liana says:

    An intriguing take on the festive season. I agree with Elaine-‘poignant’. For yet another take on Xmas- http://withluck.wordpress.com/2013/12/20/merry-tonsillectomy/ Heehee


  29. ampbreia says:

    Aw Duckie, I hope it’s not really as bad as all that. HUGS


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