This past Christmas i got to visit family.
I usually get bored this day,since it encompasses mindless chit-chat,endless questions and forced pleasantries.
Don’t get me wrong,i hold my close family dear,but this time of year i get to see relatives i haven’t seen since i was a baby and therefore we have nothing in common.
My kind aunt shoved in me the third piece of chocolate cake and i was already lethargic from the amount of sugar running through my veins.
The doorbell rang and one of my little cousins(can’t tell them apart) opened the door.
This old gentleman came in,in his three-piece suit.He shouted ‘Merry Christmas’ and picked up my subtly aloof cousin in his arm.
My uncle George is 90 years of age.Still full of energy,bravado and attitude.
He is one of my favourite relatives and one i will gladly drink some of his rather stale,but strong scotch and puff one of his cuban cigars,that he always seems to carry one with him.
I don’t get to see him very often since he doesn’t visit often(neither do i).But when we get to meet,we usually indulge in conversations.We are like-minded and we both know it.
Anyway,he approached my aunt,told her something witty that made her blush and went to make him some coffee.He then approached me and shook my hand,looking straight in my eyes.No words.
He sat next to me and lit his cigar.
‘Don’t eat this crap.It makes you slow.You have to be sharp’,he told me getting the chocolate cake away from me.No words.No hellos,no nothing.
He is always like that.Commanding ,but with an understanding tone.
More people started coming and the place was filled.We are talking a lot of people.I didn’t know many of them to be honest.
Nice to see you again!
How’s the family?
You got the promotion?Great!’
The coffee was served and everyone was in the spirit of Christmas,getting up to date with each other’s life.
My uncle didn’t talk much.He was very careful with his words.
He is always nice and polite,with an amused smile on his face.
He stared everyone,observing them,when suddenly looked at me and said:
‘Aren’t we a bunch’ and he burst into laughing.
At this point,i have to say to my uncle is considered ‘weird’,’crazy’,but respected.
They admire him,yet mock him
They mock him,yet they are jealous of him
But we always listen to him.
As expected the conversations started drifting into politics.
A fiesta of blaming others for one’s misfortune(or impotence),negativity and virtue signaling.
‘Hey uncle,what do you think about all this’,my cousin said
‘His opinion doesn’t matter.He is well-off,can’t sympathize with us.He was lucky,isn’t that right uncle’,another hotheaded cousin.
‘You are correct.I am well-off and i was lucky.In the 80 years i’ve been working,i did occasionally find some dollars on the street’ and he laughed again.
‘Oh come on.Times have changed.Back then finding a job and making money was easy’
‘Times have changed,indeed.Same rules apply,though as always…’
‘So,how did you make it?’,my little nephew(not really) asked.
Now,i had listened to his story when i was little,but knew he wasn’t all that comfortable telling it.He knew most people would consider it boasting and would loath him.His words would go unrecognized.But i saw in his eyes,he felt bad for my cousin’s son,he wanted to help him,maybe steer him towards the right direction.Protect him from his average father and shelter him from a mediocre life,like he did with me.
So he started: