I heard a story a long time ago; it comes back to me from time to time, and mostly seems at this time of year.
Looks like there was a family – well, if you can call them that.
Rumor has it they weren’t married.
But should have been, if you know what I mean.
The whispers say she was, well, you know: pregnant.
Even more whispers say the child was not his.
Either way, this guy – you have to give him credit for that – he got it right, as they say. Maybe he really liked her, who knows. But he loaded her up and brought her back to her hometown. He was going to do well with her.
No, I don’t remember how they got there. Maybe some cheap junk he bought from one of those “no credit checks” lots. But that’s not the point.
Anyway, they got to town and, well, I guess this guy wasn’t a planning genius as it turned out there was no place for them where to stay.
Whatever parents he might have had in town, apparently they didn’t want anything to do with him.
Hmm? No, I don’t know for a fact. But you just have to understand, right?
Anyway, so they go to a lousy motel – but they also turned them away.
How do I know? Maybe they were full. Maybe his debit card was rejected.
Although… well, maybe I shouldn’t be saying that; it’s not my style to spread gossip – but I’ve heard that these people are… you know… different.
In fact, I don’t think they spoke English at all.
I don’t know how they crossed the border; I was not there. But I heard that their papers weren’t exactly in order. And you know what that means.
So this clerk, well, who can blame him? Who needs trouble? He told them there was no room.
I don’t know why they didn’t go to one of the homeless shelters. I do not know; maybe, being from out of town, they didn’t know where to go. Perhaps they were afraid they would not pass the drug test. These people are like that, you know.
But one thing I will say about these kinds of people, they always seem to be able to sniff out hiding places.
No, I don’t know where they went. Maybe an unlocked storage shed. Maybe they climbed through the window of an abandoned house. Maybe they just hid under the overpass.
All I know is she had this baby.
One more mouth to feed, and they should have thought about it before she did – well, you know.
Anyway, for all of us, honest, hard-working people who don’t expect government to take care of us, he was just another child.
The story gets a bit blurry at this point. I’ve heard some pretty crazy rumors, but like I said, I don’t spread gossip.
All I know is the kid grew up and – big surprise here – he wasn’t exactly a model citizen. I had all kinds of crazy, hippie-dippie ideas. Peace and love; all that. Is not it? MDR. I never had a regular job, but the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, you know what I mean?
Heard it ended badly, but what do you expect?
It’s Christmas anyway, so I have to go. Gifts to open, cookies to eat, songs to sing, all that good stuff.
It’s funny, however, how this story comes to mind around this time each year.
A homeless man with radical ideas about loving the excluded, welcoming the stranger, feeding the hungry… I don’t know what that could have to do with Christmas.