... stories were told...
...the elegant 80-something asking the drunk Santa-boys why weren't they doing something more valuable than standing online to get into a bar and drink more? There were children in the world who needed help why weren't they helping... The bouncer called "next 10!' and the drunk Santa-boys rushed in.
She asked me if the pierogi ladies were still there and did I remember Leshkos? Everyone went there she said, everyone. Limousines, homeless, everybody. Everybody was welcomed. Leshkos was gone but the pierogi ladies were still there. I told her when the ladies tried to raise their prices the neighborhood revolted. They don't care if they raise our rent, but get upset about pierogis? she said as she headed in to eat.
...the woman selling her belongings outside her apartment. "We are moving to Edinborough. We can't bear what's happening to New Yor..." A drunk Santa with a drunk Santa girl wearing barely any Santa clothes staggered by. "More drunk Santas," the woman sighed. "Not too drunk," the young barely dressed Santa slurred. Quality of life was better in Scotland, better for children, the woman went on, speaking Portuguese to her daughter to not interrupt or where was her book or no no more computer games. Better for artists, too, I said. Are you an artist, I asked the daughter. Yes. And then the mother said, She's a good one.
...all of us, gathering as we always do once a year, unfurling stories of once upon a normal life on the Avenue we lived in between painters and writers and journalists and shoemakers and daily lives that then became stories unheard of in between the drunken noise of screaming santas.
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