Somehow he skipped the holidays this year. No sleigh-rides up the mountain, no reindeer, no red suits or plum pudding, just silence. He’s sitting out front the house, dark shaggy hair with a green t-shirt and stained blue jeans, one hand idly picking at the blue paint peeling off the wooden steps. The rest of the building is white, an old two-bedroom house put up sometime in the seventies in that brief period when striped awnings were chic. To the side is an old swingset, rusty and disused. He looks at it, remembering how the metal would scream when children tried to pump their legs to the sky. That was years ago. It was a horrible sound, like rabbits crying. He stands, scanning the empty street. There’s no-one to see him pick his way through the uncut grass to the angular bars, the neighborhood seeming to collectively decide that this is the hour for turkey dinner in front of the T.V. He feels taken out of time as he walks in silence. He can hear the grass fold like paper under his feet and on the wind is a snatch of bluegrass from one street over, something he knows but cannot place.