christmas at a girlfriend’s work

my time with Tessa was pretty much up

it was on the cards –
it did not need a tarot reader –
sex had dwindled from a summer
of no holds barred
to an autumn of no chance
of any hold at all.

so, in October when she asked
if I’d be her school Santa –
I figured, despite the evidence,
I must still be ‘well in there’.

‘maybe you’ve misread the runes
it’s a ‘woman thing’ she’s going through.’

(whatever that was)

I do not ‘do’ Christmas
for cliché reasons
and a few known only to me.
but if I played the part
my parts should get played with too –

a drunken, fumbling, kissy kissy
‘thank you, darling’ would do.

from September to December
in an unspoken love-ban
Theresa reprised Lysistrata
to perfection.

while she tossed and turned
whistled, purred, and snored.
beside me – but not touching.
I laid awake wondering
what I’d done wrong,
weighing various options.

‘ hang in there – there’s still hope… maybe.
at least you’ve got the front door key’

Father Christmas day:

the school sec. passed me a bin liner
of Santa Claus regalia
and opened a broom cupboard,
‘get changed in there.’

a commotion down the corridor;

a Monster Munchy 10 year old
frog-marched to the Head Teacher’s door
pinned down on the ‘naughty sofa.’

‘stop fighting! stop biting! sit still…

‘fat chance of that’

… just wait till your mum and dad get here!’

I belted a cushion around my waist.
put on a rancid Santa uniform
and (two sizes too big) wellingtons.

then hung an itchy cotton wool beard on,
and lo! the transformation was done.

I opened the door and into the corridor

the ‘bad lad’ gasped
his mouth dropped open
he stared wide-eyed
and leapt from the sofa

I feared for
my redundant genitalia.

his arms pincered me
bear-hugging to a point
beyond excruciation.

then he released the death grip,
ran off, kicking doors and shouting

“Father Christmas is here! the real one!”

Tess was not in her class
a bored ‘supply’ shrugged,
‘left at dinner due to an
‘unforeseen domestic situation’.’

bus home for Santa, then.

a note pinned to her door,
‘thanks for today…
and everything.
I’m sure my class will love you.
I’m away for christmas.
leave the key next door.’

I never saw Tessa again.


© coolhermit 2023
Views: 926
critique and comments welcome.
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

What a graphic and dire picture. I hope this isn’t based on real life. Either way, I was there all the way through.

P.S. I tried to reply to your message but now I can’t find it! I’ll keep looking.


I love the way you can make the reader live the whole experience with you simply through your amazing ability with words. sue.


Brilliant, involving, lovely and lively. One thing is sure, I cannot write with such mastery.


I’ve been a bit remiss reading your work recently. Sorry about that. This piece is so full of woe and yet very entertaining in the classy way you put it over. I never cease to be amazed at the how devious women can be when they put their mind to it. They are just too clever for us poor blokes.

Flag Content