Who will speak for Santa as he takes abuse from the girls who will only get one Frozen toy? From the boys whose parents refuse to buy the latest blood sport video game? Who will step in front of the number 24 bus to protect the old Santa hauling his Salvation Army kettle barely half filled with change?
Santa shakes off the snow and city grime and opens the door to the untidy apartment he shares with the feline queen and memories of sitting in after hours at the Village Vanguard hoping for JJ to point at him and his always polished flugelhorn for a solo with the house band.
He sets the bulging second-hand backpack on the dusty floor. The sound of the cans of vegetables from the food bank fighting for space, a musical bridge. Somewhere between desperate and thankful, he turns on the decades old stereo and sets the scratchy “Kind of Blue” album on the worn turntable and closes his eyes. He sips his Four Roses to the rhythm of “So What.” Who will speak for him? Who will write his obituary when he falls asleep for the last time?
Jess Nadelman is a Colorado writer. He writes short fiction and poetry.