1. In Oscar Berkman’s dream, which didn’t come true a long time ago, he and Emily Twiggs were married on Christmas Day. It wasn’t much of a ceremony, but it doesn’t need to be when two people happen to be in love as much as they were.
One of Oscar’s little nieces or nephews walked down the aisle in front of them, dropping papier-mâché flower petals and snowflakes from a wicker basket.
His parents—who in this dream were still married and genuinely cared about him—beamed with pride. Their son, who had grown into a strapping young man, was about to make the most important commitment of his life.
The pews were filled with people whose lives had been touched by Oscar’s good works. He had meant so much to so many, and they had repaid him by attending this special event.
Emily looked every bit the blushing bride. Freed from the doubts and anxieties that had plagued her during her youth, she was ready for a fresh start with her favorite man.
Oscar went on to do other things, all of which were better than this and none of which involved getting married on Christmas Day. What happened to Emily Twiggs, though? He didn’t miss her as much as he should have, but then again he really didn’t miss anybody.
2. “So for Christmas I got a Danger Mouse action figure, five thousand dollars, a new car, a year’s subscription to Weight Watchers, a gold watch fob, an electric truss, and so much more,” Danny Cater told his friend Time Man, who had allowed himself to be dragged into yet another pointless conversation.
“That’s great,” Time Man said, although he couldn’t have cared less. He couldn’t have cared at all, in fact—he had all of the time in the world and therefore no reason to worry about much of anything. “I really like the sound of that. It’s just super, is what it is.”
“I also got a limited-edition lithograph signed by legendary underground artist ‘Reek’ Bonut, too,” Cater continued. “It was, needless to say”—which wasn’t true, because Cater very much needed to say this—“quite the haul.”
“Those are some real gains. Let’s talk losses, though,” Time Man said, growing slightly annoyed by his friend’s supercilious sense of entitlement and exceedingly effeminate monotone. “Did you lose your virginity, Danny?”
Cater massaged the fleshy second chin that occupied the space where his first chin should have been. “I think I’m going to go in a different direction,” he said after a pause that was every bit as pregnant as the Octomom.