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Commentary
Michiana Chronicles writers bring portraits of our life and times to the 88.1 WVPE airwaves every Friday at 7:45 am during Morning Edition and over the noon hour at 12:30 pm during Here and Now. Michiana Chronicles was first broadcast in October 2001. Contact the writers through their individual e-mails and thanks for listening!

Michiana Chronicles: The Day Before Christmas

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Sid Shroyer
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It’s the day before Christmas and I crawl out of my bed, while visions of the dreams I had dance in my head. In one dream I’m standing on the deck of the Titanic and the director of entertainment is telling me to ignore negative thoughts. 

“But the iceberg,” I sputter. 

 

“Let us play,” he says, to the band.

 

And, in the next dream, I’m playing. 

I’m playing tough defense in a full-court playground basketball game with the boys from the TV show “Friends.” I steal the ball in the back court and dribble-drive to the hole with my left hand, but, not even close,  I miss the shot. The rebound floats to me, though, and this time it’s back through the bent-rim-without-a-net hanging-on-the rusty-iron-backboard. 

 

Gotta catch my breath. 

 

Monica’s father owns the shop across the street where Paul, a guy I knew from grade school, has been hiding.
He emerges when the SWAT teams leave and tells Monica to tell her dad that he wants to buy the shop with a friend and convert it to a storage locker business and we all agree that it’s a good thing for Paul, him not being a regular member of the cast.

 

From the Friends apartment window we’re looking down on Sesame Street. Paul tells Big Bird, “I wasn’t hiding. I was going to the bathroom.”

 

Ah yes the bathroom. Now I’m awake 

And out of my slumber with a Chronicle to make.

 
It’s the day before Christmas and all through the house I’m looking hard for my glasses but I don’t ask my spouse Because I know she’ll say, “Where did you see glasses, last?” And I’ll say, “In the house,” just like all the times past. 

So I look, it’s not easy to see this-a-way 

Upstairs and downstairs the day before Christmas Day.  They’ve got to be somewhere, they can’t disappear Like the dust in the wind, like to Kansas, or thin air.

 
My glasses, my glasses, where last did I had? 

They’ve got to be somewhere. It’s making me mad. I’ll head back upstairs. I’ll retrace my steps. 

I’ll touch every flat surface where they might have been left.

They’re not in the two places that I leave them at night. They’re not in the bathroom. They’re not next to the light That’s right next to the books that help put me to sleep Or that keep me awake with suggestions too deep 

About the things in the world that should make us all fear That if we don’t be more careful the end is nigh near, About the things that might happen to the hero of a book Who’d be better off now if ‘round the corner he’d look 

At the same things that happened back when happening now That led to the worse sort of worseness and how Like that time when the people who lived where they lived Thought that looking away was the right look to give 

Because looking straight at the big problem instead  Gave them aches, indigestions, and pains in the head, And besides, at the times, when they thought, they all thought  What’s the point of my worry when it all leads to naught? 

There’s nothing that I can do anyhow. Anyway, 

I’m just a guy who can’t see the day before Christmas Day. Now I’m distracted thinking thoughts that I think Wondering what am I doing in the room with the sink?

I know I had a good reason to be here where I be 

But it wasn’t because only that I had to pee. 

I’m looking for something on the day before Christmas That’s very important to me if not the Mrs. 

Because she’s still asleep, in the bedroom a napping, In a poem with Poe, with the wrap wrap wrap wrapping. Just then when it seemed that all of my hopes had been dashed Arose from the bedroom, ‘The Ramones, or The Clash?” 

No, it’s my dear one, my spouse’s voice chatter, 

Saying, “Dear, I’m awake, and then, “What is the matter?” Should I stay, should I go to that voice known to me Saying, “I can no longer sleep happily”? 

“I can’t find my glasses,” I said with a huff. 

“I’ve looked everywhere, through all of this stuff.” 

“Look on the desk, you were up in the night,  

Writing, I think, I could tell by the light, 

One of those things you do for radio, 

Putting your feelings out there for a show. 

Why don’t you just write a parody poem? 

The day before Christmas, or Christmas on loan?” 

‘That’s easy for you say’ to myself I did sneer, 

Then, “You’re right, here’s my glasses, thank thank thank you dear” So now I can see but my glasses are dirty, 

And I’ve more work to do, as it’s only 2:30 

And I’ve got at least 2:30 more things to say 

That are pithy and wise and won’t send folks away. 

But, it’s the day before Christmas and I long for bed Without visions of wokeness that dance in my head 

Rather, sleeping with the joy, things the way that they are. For so much to be thankful, it’s true, life is a star. 

So back to my dreams now, and if it’s all right, 

Happy Christmas to you and to all a good night.

 

 

Music - A Holly Jolly Christmas, Burl Ives