By William Markiewicz
One Christmas evening I was strolling with my girlfriend and a man friend on the street of a town near Paris. A small man in a beret was walking toward us, looking slightly drunk and like a street person even if not particularly unkempt. Seeing us he screamed "Joyeux Noel!" (Merry Christmas). I made a sudden decision and, when we passed each other, saying "Joyeux Noel!" I kissed him on the cheek. His skin was slippery and cold, like plastic material. He stopped, stunned, and we heard him shouting behind us, "I am clean you know!" as if he wanted me not to regret my gesture. This may have been his first kiss since childhood, if ever, perhaps the last. My friend Esteban, remarked: "For him it is his Christmas, Easter, Santa Claus, Birthday, First Communion, you name it...! "
George Brassens says in one of his songs: "It was just a little honey but it warmed me up." In the void small things are important and we create our own sense in the cold senseless universe.
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