“Ho ho ho” Arthur Wilson muttered in response to the “Merry Christmas” shouted out by Bud as the door closed behind him, the latest departing regular at Mickey’s Tavern. This left Arthur as the last soldier still sitting at the bar.
It was past six, and Arthur knew that Mickey was probably anxious to get home to his missus for Christmas Eve. While Arthur was certainly in no great rush to leave, there was no need for him to prolong Mickey’s agony, so he signaled for one last one for the road.
Mickey slid gracefully behind the tap and drew a final pint of Genesee Cream Ale for Arthur, as least as gracefully as a three hundred pound bartender could be, Arthur figured. Buck a pint happy hours were a retirees’ best friend and better still was the happy hour that went from noon to eight.
Arthur couldn’t figure out how Mickey made a go of it at these prices, but then again Arthur was in no position to worry about Mickey’s financial health. Not in the situation Arthur was in.
Six pints a night, plus one for Mickey and a buck tip. Seven nights a week, just like clockwork. Fifty six dollars a week for entertainment. There was a day when that would have been chump change, Arthur thought. Those days had changed however, and now Arthur was the chump. Take out rent and heat and the spiraling cost of the plethora of medications that his failing body demanded to survive, and that left squat from what had once been thought of as a generous pension.
The television up in the corner had a video of a fireplace burning while generic Christmas carols tinkled in the background. A cursory glance outside the window revealed that a light snow had begun to fall, which made Arthur grimace. The thought of walking home in the wind and cold was not helped by having to navigate slippery sidewalks as well.
Looking straight ahead at the huge mirror on the wall behind the bar, Arthur saw the depressing reflection of what remained of himself. A sad, weathered face that looked every bit of its seventy years, and then some. His shirt collar hung loosely around his wrinkled neck even though the collar was buttoned. The tie and suit were habits of a lifestyle long since passed, and the reasons why Arthur still bothered with such appearances sometimes eluded him.
Just because you were a old rummy didn’t mean you had to dress the part too, Arthur figured. Looking at the reflection, it was hard to believe how much he had aged over the last four years since his beloved wife Elaine had passed away.
Life when Elaine was here bore no resemblance to the sorry existence Arthur endured now. He would never have thought to spend an hour alone in a place like Mickey’s back then, much less six or more hours every day. That was then, he mused sadly, and this was now.
Arthur glanced around the dimly lit tavern, chuckling at the pitiful attempts Mickey had made to brighten the place up for the holiday. The same old plastic holly tacked up around the border of the mirror, once a deep green but now faded with age to a sickly lime. The string of lights embedded in there still blinking in a bizarre rhythm. This year there were seven lights burnt out, which was up two from last year. The decarations were falling apart faster than Arthur was, he thought as he chuckled to himself.
“Like putting lipstick on a pig” Arthur said aloud as he looked for words that described the tavern’s decrepid holiday motif while shaking his head.
“What’s that Arthur?” Mickey said as he passed through with a rack of glasses.
“Oh, nothing. I was just remembering something we used to say around the office” Arthur commented. “Seven lights out this year Mick. Almost time to think about some replacement bulbs.”
Mickey set the glasses behind the bar and looked at the lights, nodding softly.
“Yeah, I should get some new ones” Mickey agreed as he headed toward the back room again.
Arthur fished around in his jacket pocket for the envelope that contained the Christmas card he would give Mickey, with the traditional ten dollar bill in it like always, although this time the ten-spot was harder to come up with than in years past. Arthur was fortunate that, besides the couple of bucks he put in the red kettle, Mickey was the extent of his Christmas shopping list. He placed the card on the bar in front of his pint so he wouldn’t forget.
Ah, the traditions of the holiday season, Arthur thought with amusement. When Mickey would come out from the back room, Arthur would give Mickey the card. Mickey would say that he shouldn’t have, thank Arthur, and then invite him over to spend Christmas with Mickey and his wife. It was the same dance they had danced for the last few years.
Arthur would thank Mickey profusely and decline gracefully. Mickey would ask him if he was sure and Arthur would nod. Arthur was sure the offer was sincere, but couldn’t see how joining them would make the day more bearable. Not to mention the fact that having Arthur around would certainly not make the holiday jollier for Mr. and Mrs. Mickey.
Just then the bell attached to the tavern door jingled and a cold blast of air whistled down the length of the bar, hitting Arthur in the back and making him shudder. Arthur didn’t look back, but watched in the grungy mirror as the person walked behind Arthur and settled in to a seat a couple of stools down from him.
A woman! Wait until Mickey sees this, Arthur thought as he tried to get a look at the new arrival without being too obvious. Solo women coming into Mickey’s were unheard of, and what a woman was doing in a dump like this on Christmas Eve was a mystery in itself. Mickey was not going to be pleased at this when he came back out, as it could only delay his closing.
“Merry Christmas” the woman said, as Arthur realized she was looking at him when she spoke, her voice soft and sweet.
“Oh, Merry Christmas to you too” Arthur said as he swiveled to get a better look at the woman.
Young, very young, probably in her twenties. Long, curly brown hair that fell over the collar of her coat. Very attractive indeed, with a cherubic face and a wide smile. She almost looked a little like Elaine did in her younger days.
“Something wrong?” the woman asked, and Arthur realized that he had most likely been staring at the woman, probably uncomfortably so. Arthur flushed with embarassment as he tried to explain.
“Oh, I’m sorry I was staring at you” he finally managed. “It’s just that, well, you look a lot like my wife does… did.”
“Is that a compliment?”
“Oh God, a compliment of course” Arthur said quickly. “My wife was the most beautiful woman in the… ”
Arthur’s voice trailed off, partly because of emotion, but more from the realization of how he sounded. It was almost like some kind of pickup line.
“In that case thank you very much, you’re very kind” the woman said, apparently not taking offense at the remark.
The proprietor was nowhere in sight, and Arthur was tempted to call out to Mickey and let him know there was a customer waiting.
“Mickey must be busy back there” Arthur said apologetically. “I’m sure he’ll be out any minute.”
“That’s all right” the woman said smiling. “As a matter of fact, I can’t help but notice that this place is kind of depressing, isn’t it?”
“Well, yes I guess it is” Arthur said with a tinge of shame about his home away from home.
“We could just as easily go to your place for a drink, couldn’t we?” the woman said bluntly, and smiled at the shocked reaction on Arthur’s face.
“Uh, well… I don’t know, I guess so” Arthur said in confusion. “Why would you want…”
“Good let’s go” the woman said as she swiveled effortlessly off the stool and walked over to Arthur’s side.
Arthur was in a daze as he found himself getting down off the bar stool and putting on his coat. He fished a dollar bill out of his pants pocket and placed it next to his glass. Arthur felt bad about leaving without saying goodbye to Mickey, but somehow felt like he was no longer in control of his actions.
Arthur and the woman walked down the street toward his apartment, the wind and snow mercifully at their backs. The woman had curled her arm inside of Arthur’s, and together they traveled down Lincoln Avenue.
Arthur was a nervous wreck as he tried to figure out what this woman was up to. Was she some kind of hooker? Was this some sort of con game? It had to be, but would she be surprised when she saw there was nothing to be had from him!
They reached the bland three story brick building down the street from the bar and wordlessly climbed the flight of stairs to Arthur’s second floor apartment. Slighly winded from the climb, Arthur nervously fished the keys out of his coat and let the woman into his very humble home as he turned on the overhead light.
The woman looked at the lone holiday decoration sitting in the middle of the coffee table, a foot tall artificial tree that Elaine had bought when the ritual of putting up a real tree had become too much for them, and smiled. The woman walked over to the television and picked up the picture of Elaine.
“Your wife?” the woman asked and saw Arthur nod. “My, I guess that was a compliment you gave me. She was lovely, far more attractive than me. And who’s this?”
The woman pointed to the other picture on the television, the picture of Ben in his Marine uniform.
“My… our son Benjamin” Arthur finally croaked weakly. “He was killed in Vietnam.”
The woman took off her coat, and Arthur hurried over to take it from her. The woman had a magnificently voluputous figure, almost Rubenesque, so much like Elaine’s had been in her youth.
“Oh, the drinks” Arthur said nervously, and started to head for the kitchen. The woman took Arthur’s arm and slowly guided him away from the kitchen and toward his bedroom.
“That can wait” the woman said, and took Arthur into his bedroom, turning on the dim light at the side of the bed.
The woman turned her back to Arthur and asked him to unzip her dress. With trembling hands Arthur fumbled with the zipper, finally sliding it down so the woman could step out of it. Arthur grappled with the hooks of her long-line bra, finally feeling the forward lurch of her breasts as the last hook came undone.
The woman turned to face Arthur as she stook off her panties. She was breathtakingly beautiful. Her full round breasts rose and fell with her breathing as she took Arthur’s hands and placed them over her globes.
Arthur’s heart was beating wildly as he softly kneaded the woman’s massive breasts with his bony fingers, feeling the thick pegs of her nipples come alive in his palms. The woman soon started undressing Arthur, first pulling off his coat, then undoing his tie.
In seconds, Arthur was standing before this stranger almost naked, his faded and worn boxer shorts were all that remained. The woman reached her hand inside the elastic and grabbed Arthur’s manhood, smiling as she gently tugged on the flaccid, rubbery tube.
“I’m sorry… I’m an old man. I don’t know if I can” Arthur stuttered as the woman manipulated his organ, which was not responding.
“Of course you can Arthur” the woman cooed gently as she tugged down the boxer shorts, leaving his skinny wrinkled body completely exposed. His knees were knocking together as the woman ran her hands through the coarse grey hair on his scrawny chest.
“I’ve… I’ve never been with a woman before” Arthur said. “Besides my wife I mean. She was my only…”
“She was a lucky woman” the woman said with affection, before slowly kneeling down in front of Arthur. “Now just relax and enjoy.”
“I.. I… don’t even know your name” Arthur said, his voice cracking with nervousness.
The woman looked up at Arthur, her face just inches away from his manhood which was still hanging limply between his legs. The woman’s hand came up and cupped his dangling nutsack, squeezing and kneading his wrinkled balls.
“What was your wife’s name Arthur?” the woman asked.
“Elaine” Arthur said, as he suddenly realized for the first time that she somehow knew his name even though he had not ever introduced himself.
“Elaine? That’ll do fine, if you don’t mind that is” she said, and with that took Arthur into her mouth. Arthur groaned as the young woman took in as much of him as she could.
Arthur felt a long forgotten feeling surge through his body, as the warm tingling sensation traveled up and down his spine. When he looked down, the woman was no longer trying to work life into a withered old pecker. Instead, her lush and full lips were sliding up and down the length of Arthur’s long stiff member, which hadn’t felt the warmness of a woman’s mouth in so very long. Her hands squeezed his buttocks as she seemed to try and inhale the entire length of the shaft, her face buried in the silver bush above it.
Arthur was pulled over to the bed and onto the woman, who deftly guided his rock hard member into her already moist opening. As Arthur’s cock slid deeper inside her, she moaned loudly with pleasure.
Arthur felt the woman’s muscles dancing around his cock as he began pounding into her with enthusiasm. His balls slapped rhythmically against her as he somehow found an untapped energy source and shifted into another gear.
“Oh Arthur, my God you’re incredible” the woman screamed as he felt her writhing beneath him. “It feels so good, so very good.”
“Elaine… ” Arthur said without thinking, as he tried to hold back his orgasm, which was threatening to erupt at any moment. “Elaine, I love you so much.”
Arthur was amazed at long he was able to continue this energetic pace, as the woman kept encouraging and praising his lovemaking while clawing at his back. When at last Arthur felt the woman begin to violently convulse in orgasm, he let himself go. A rapid fire series of blasts exploded from his long dormant organ, and the woman yelped with delight as she felt the seed spurt deep inside her.
As their orgasms faded, Arthur held himself up over this beautiful creature, looking down in disbelief over what had just happened. His cock gradually whithered and slid out of her dripping opening, and he eased himself down next to the woman, finally beginning to feel his age. He felt himself grow tired as he held her in his arms.
“Merry Christmas Arthur” the woman whispered into his ear.
“Merry Christmas Elaine” Arthur managed to get out, before drifting off to sleep.
“THOCK!” Mickey said, explaining the sound he had heard, as the police officer took down notes.
“That was it?” the cop asked.
“Just like the sound of a baseball being hit” MIckey explained. “I was in the back room getting ready to close, and I heard Arthur saying something. It was almost like he was having a conversation with somebody. I was heading out to find out what was going on when I heard the sound.”
“And when you came out you saw him like that” the policeman said, gesturing toward the lifeless body hunched over the bar.
“Right. He had hit his head on the bar. Out like a light. I’ve had guys pass out here from time to time” Mickey added. “Never Arthur though. He was a classy drunk, if you know what I mean. Always a gentleman, kept to himself and knew his limits. So when I saw him like that I knew right away there was something wrong. He was dead by the time I got over to him” Mickey said while shaking his head sadly.
“No relatives that you know of, that right?” the cop continued.
“He was a widower, that I know for sure” Mickey said. “He had a son that died a long time ago, and that was all the family I knew about.”
“You’re sure there was nobody else in here when he went down, Mickey?”
“Absolutely!” Mickey said emphatically. “Hell, who’d want to spend Christmas Eve in this dive.”
“I guess you’re right there” the cop said as the ambulance finally arrived, the EMT’s walking in glumly to adminster to Arthur. “That’s a helluva way to go though, on Christmas Eve and all.”
“I guess so, but look at him” Mickey said, motioning toward Arthur as the EMT’s gently took him off the stool. “Geez, that’s really strange. That smile on his face, you know, this is the first time I remember seeing him with a really happy expression on his face” Mickey said while watching Arthur leaving his place for the final time.
The policeman left the tavern as the ambulance pulled silently away, there being no need for any kind of urgency on this call. Mickey emptied the cash register and headed out from behind the bar, pausing in front of the mirror and watching the lights, the ones that still worked that is, continue their blinking on and off whether they had an audience or not.
“Lipstick on a pig” Mickey said aloud, and then laughed as it finally dawned on him what Arthur had meant by that, before unplugging the sad display for the last time this season and heading out the door for home.