Each year in Downtown Portland, a tree lighting ceremony takes place in Pioneer Square. David Emami loved Christmas, and hadn’t missed a tree lighting in his life. It was one of the only happy memories he had that involved his entire family. As cold as they were, it was an event that brought them all together.
David took the MAX train into Pioneer Square and smiled as he saw the giant tree before him adorned with all sorts of ornate decorations. The weather was terribly cold that night, and freezing rain and wind were in the forecast.
David wore a large black trenchcoat that almost made him disappear entirely, along with tiny green mittens his grandmother had knitted for him when he was a boy. Somehow, they still fit. He also sported a large knitted beanie that read, “Where’s the Beef” that he had received during a Wendy’s promotion in the 1980s. David rarely threw away a perfectly good item.
It was 10 minutes before the lighting ceremony was to begin. Suddenly, the wind picked up, and with it, freezing rain began to fall like icy daggers from the sky. David waited patiently as his unkempt black eyebrows became icicles and his coat quickly took on a shell of ice.
The tree waved back and forth violently, almost to the point of falling over. People started leaving the area, seeking shelter from the winter blast.
“You’re all a bunch of wimps!” he yelled. David loved a good storm, especially a winter storm.
Suddenly, an announcement came over the loudspeakers. “I’m sorry to inform you of this, but the tree lighting ceremony has been canceled due to inclement weather. We will reschedule for tomorrow evening, weather permitting.”
David felt enraged. He shouted, “Well, that won’t do! I’m taking Fred and Barbra Streisand in for a grooming appointment at Petco!”
He clenched his mittens and went toward the man that made the announcement. “You need to reconsider. You see, my cats have an urgent appointment tomorrow at Petco to be groomed and brushed. You should see Barbra Streisand! She looks like a hobo!”
“Huh?” replied the man.
“And Fred just looks awful.”
“What can I do for you, sir?” said the man impatiently.
“You can’t cancel the lighting ceremony! It would trouble me greatly!”
“I’m sorry sir, but we have to do it for everyone’s safety.”
“Well then, good evening to you, Mr. Scrooge!” said David as he straightened out his coat and walked away. He shook his fist at the Christmas tree and vowed to stay at home next year.
David Emami is Alone in Portland is a collection of stories that peer into the life of a middle-aged curmudgeon with a fondness for cats and antiques.
Playfully illustrated with Bitmoji characters, his story comes to life as each day brings a new adventure.
He was obsessive compulsive and mad about antiques. The apartment was covered, top to bottom, in decor that would be more aligned with that of an old woman that peaked in the 1960s. david-emami-takes-on-portland.html
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