What’s changed is that there are all these little boys in the neighbourhood, two next door (sons of the policeman), one next to him (son of the P.O.) and one next to me on the other side (son of the co-gen power supply seller). And what’s more, instead of being busy with soccer, hockey, scouts and whatever it is that keep little boys out of trees and trouble, the coronavirus has put them out on the street.
They are having the childhood that I had. Make your own fun. Stay out of trouble or don’t get caught. Don’t go too far and be home in time for supper and before dark.
I’m doing my very best to keep them out of my yard, Mr Wilson. I’m the gruff old guy that I hope they are scared of. I just glare at them when I leave the house. In return they look at their shoes. They know they are guilty something. I thought so.
I’m getting sick of looking at the tree all covered in doodads and brooches. I can’t wait to take it down. In the olden days, when we were kids and living down on the Burin Peninsula, my father would take the tree down the day after New Years Day and drag it out into the backyard and set it alight. We’d all come out and watch it burn, an instant and fitting end to the Christmas holidays. Symbolic. My father said it was an old country tradition. I always thought he was joking, that he only liked a denotative fire but I looked it up one time way back and found that an ancient culture, maybe it was the druids or the celts or some germanic tribe, would do a similar thing.
The only real difference is that they would gayly dance around it as it went up in flames and we were more stoic.