Holiday in a long black coat catches her stiletto in a drain and falls; cracking open on the pavement dry and white with salt; spilling inane music and warm plastic snow, thick as holiday shoppers with armfuls of bags and children. Family whirlpools steam over shop-fronts, teenagers with miniskirts and blotchy heat-deprived legs. The smell of cigarette smoke in cold air. Christmas blend coffee, seasonal tampons, light up hats and million bulb decorations reflect from snotty noses. Queues blend through doors held open by cold wind and office lads with bottles and downing glasses. Panic attacks. Rolls of tissue-thin wrapping paper, free for a pahnd love. Toy soldiers that crawl between shoppers, firing machine guns to liberate seasonal cheer and goodwill and quash insurgent party-poopers with beany hats. The inflatable St. Nicholas watches our frenzy from the apartment block, out on the penthouse balcony with shimmer hanging from everything.
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