Smoke and Mirrors

In a perfect world . . .


Christmas, trains, God

I stood at South Station tonight watching the Christmas Train roll along the tracks.
They set it up every year and tonight I found myself daydreaming [night dreaming?] a bit,
reminiscing about days gone by, Christmases past, simple times and in some smaller way, happier times.
Gone are the days of smoking Lionel train sets
and Adirondack baseball bats made of white ash, a hardwood that had that ‘swack’ sound
when you made contact with the ball.
We didn’t use those shitty aluminum bats made to save the freekin’ rainforest.
We cut down trees for bats and played baseball.
End of story.
I wonder how many boys have ever discovered the feeling of a baseball finding the ‘sweet spot’ on a bat;
it is something almost indescribable in a way.
It feels so very right and almost heavenly.
The same goes for the waxy and comfortable aroma upon opening of a fresh box of  ©Crayola crayons.
The memories of things that made me happy back then are now located high on a shelf,
out of view and out of reach.
I’m afraid that if I did try to touch them that they would sadly dissolve, settling into some
cob-webbed and cranial antechamber to be forever lost and untouchable ala ‘the Island of misfit Toys’;
“Nobody wants a Charlie in a box.”
Or a train with square wheels.
Christmas is supposed to be a season of hope and sacred renewal, love and unexpected miracles, the innocence of a child and the birth of the Christ.
My biggest problem is my inability to turn off the omnipresent and methodical holiday din; a most socially accepted version of seasonal torture.
Please don’t waterboard me with the Carpenter’s Christmas album.
I’ll give you my PayPal  and Amazon password, just not that.
My mind gets filled with everything but holiday spirit as sights, lights and sounds careen off my internal walls of yuletide cynicism and silent nights; I want so much more for my heart but it never seems to happen.
Maybe this year . . . maybe I will drift away on some runaway train to a tropical island where I can sell hot dogs from a stand while drinking Guinness and smoking Cuban cigars.
My Perfect Merry Christmas.
In a perfect world . . .



  1. Your post made me sad because I know exactly what you mean.I,too have fond memories of Christmas as a child and I have different fond memories of Christmas when our girls were small as well.
    I’m afraid Michael that we are getting older because we have begun to reminisce instead of looking to the future. I guess that’s what happens.
    It’s ok to look back, it’s comforting.
    I absolutely love the video.It reminds me of my brother when we were younger.Cool train

  2. I always look back as Christmas approaches, be it to my childhood, or when the girls were little, and I find time has a way of making me wear rose coloured glasses as I meander through those memories because we tend to remember Christmas past as we were when they happened.
    A child ourselves, or when our grown up children were not quite so grown up, but Pam is right.
    It’s comforting to remember those times.
    For me, it’s about family, friends, love and being together, not what’s dished up by retailers. I ignore as much of that as I possibly can and make it what I want it to be.
    A time to be treasured with people we love, regardless of the gifts or anything else.
    We may be a little more worn down by life with each Christmas that comes and goes, but you know inside what it’s about, and surely that’s what counts?

  3. Now what the hell am I supposed to do with that Carpenters Christmas album I got you? I sure don’t want it. 💡

  4. Neat video! I got to visit the dad of a friend who had a really cool train world made up in his garage. But going through your house is…something else. I wouldn’t want one in MY house. But that one looked really nice.
    I think you need to look forward to future Christmases with your grandchildren. Won’t that be fun? You can dress up as Santa. But then your little granddaughter will tell you that you stink like Santa! Granddaughters are smart like that. :)

  5. ~m I am also a Grinch and a Bah Humbug…but you truly DO have Christmas in your heart! This year, your family and my children put it back in mine. For this, I am truly thankful! What you all did for me is what Christmas is truly about! Thank you and Happy New Year! :hat:

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