Fog. He couldn’t see very well across the street. Streetlights were glowing just a bit. Cutting through thick air just enough to make out Christmas lights atop roofs down the avenue. Lights of green and red made an outline on each house. Except their’s.
He had no lights. No decorations in the yard. Just leaves of brown in piles from autumn. Occasionally a lit cigarette would be thrown to the ground, but, it would quickly burn out. That’s as festive as it got for the old man. Same as it ever was.
And each Christmas eve kids would come caroling down the avenue. They would stop at each house to sing and receive hot chocolate in Santa mugs. They’d stop at every house, except his.
They never saw the old man at any time during the year. In the summer he would not cut his lawn. Spring time never brought him flowers to tend to. Snow and ice were not shoveled in the winter. Just an old house, who like his owner was falling apart.
The old man had everything you could imagine. Heart disease, gout, diabetes, obesity, it was just a matter of time. And nobody on the block knew. They would take guesses that he was dying, but were never sure. Some said he’d live forever and so would the eyesore he called home.
But, one Christmas eve the neighbors dreams came true. The old man was carted out on a stretcher as stiff as a board. Light swirled round and round atop the ambulance. But, there was no sound.
In silence the old man was driven away as kids marched door to door. It was the end for him and a new beginning for the neighborhood.