| Christmas (masculine noun) | /nɔɛl/

Olives, nuts, and pastry crusts.

My family and I sit in blue plush chairs at the bar. Tongues lubricated with white wine and vodka. Where do you see yourself in five years? Hmm, what to do, what to do. I’ve never had a penchant for logic or reason, for science or figures. No, I’ll never be a physicist, a botanist, a physician, or a chemist. Perhaps I should have played a different part? I listen quietly while nibbling

Olives, nuts, and pastry crusts.

I spent Christmas in Lille, because I’m still running from whatever memories await for me back home. Do I dare muster the courage to relive those summer reveries, alone, while all those around me embrace their beloveds? Do I dare test the boundaries of my sanity? Do I dare reclaim those summer places as my own? No, I dare not. Instead, I remain in the warmth of a restored fifteenth century hotel. My father’s on his fourth white russian, and the bartender offers us another tray of

Olives, nuts, and pastry crusts.

When it’s time to say goodbye, my father embraces me and says, “We’ll see you in July.” And I am left missing that warm place, the peppery taste of red wine, and the conversations we shared around

Olives, nuts, and pastry crusts.


About Gabriella

I'm a twenty-something insomniac with a caffeine addiction and chronic wanderlust. I recently graduated with my M.A. in French, and I've spent the past two years living and working as an English teacher in France. I now work as an English professor at a university in Lille, where my students are learning to never omit the Oxford comma.
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