Monday, December 22, 2008
The Perfect Gift
I had the misfortune to go through town today. The rattle of money was deafening – always a good sign when the spirit of Christmas is one of avarice and misery. One woman was sat on the damp cobblestones, plastic shopping bags strewn in a partial circle around her, sobbing. Her hair was plastered to her cheeks by the tears and the damp air and she was sobbing over and over – “What can I get for our Kylie?”
The obvious answer – a deed poll so the poor kid could change her name – died on my lips and I helped her up and carried her bags to a nearby bench. She followed as if she were tied to them.
She fumbled in her bag and pulled out a mobile phone to show me a picture of Kylie taken by her friend* and forwarded.
“Think about your Kylie,” I said, taking her hand, “and strip away the fashion accessories and the music and the coke addiction and think of what the girl underneath would want. Think of something that only a mother would really know.”
“What, like a set of driving lessons?”
“I was thinking more of a dentistry voucher,” I said, “But yours is a good idea too.”
*A friend. Not a m8, a friend. One who took the trouble to delete the stupid ones.
Apologies to anyone why has a relative called 'Kylie'.