Spirit of the Season
--Eva K. Bradshaw

He looked up at the sound of the cemetery gates creaking open, of heavy boots crunching against frozen dirt. As Jerry closed the gate behind him, the heavy latch clanging home, he took one good look at the sight before him, sighed, and shook his head. To say that Jerry wasn’t at all surprised would have been an understatement. In fact, he’d rather expected to find him here--drunk, in a cemetery. And on Christmas Eve, no less. Fitting, he thought. And fitting, it was, indeed.

From his place on the ground, his slender frame leaning back against a broken and weathered old headstone, Glenn Danzig raised a half-empty bottle of booze in acknowledgement.

“Jerry! Glad you could join me.”

“I thought I’d find you here,” stated Jerry as he joined his band mate, plopping down next to him on the cold, hard ground. “Christ, Glenn, it’s freezing out here.”

“Hadn’t noticed,” Glenn took a long pull off the bottle.

“Well, you have killed almost an entire bottle of--what the hell is that, Jaeger?”

“Shit’ll kill ya,” replied Glenn matter-of-factly, and went to take another swig. Jerry promptly intercepted the bottle, snatching it from Glenn’s hand.

“Hey, BYOB,” he protested. “I’m not sharing, get your own.”

“Glenn, I’m cutting you off. You’re shitfaced.”

“That’s kinda the point, smartass. Now, gimme.” He reached for the bottle and Jerry snatched it away again.

“What are you doing out here, Danz?” He asked, point-blank.

“Well,” said Glenn thoughtfully, “I was getting wasted, until you showed up.” He made a face at Jerry, demonstrating his contempt.

“No, jackass,” Jerry rolled his eyes. “That’s not what I meant. I meant, what are you doing? Glenn, it’s Christmas Eve. You’re drunk off your ass in a cemetery.”

“Do you have a point,” questioned Glenn curtly, “or are you just talking to listen to yourself speak?” Jerry sighed and shook his head.

“It’s Christmas Eve, Glenn, that is my point. Doesn’t that mean anything to you?” The response Jerry got wasn’t quite what he was expecting. Glenn looked at him earnestly, as if actually considering--and promptly burst out laughing. Jerry quirked an eyebrow at him. “I don’t see what was funny about that question.”

“You,” Glenn replied, through fits of laughter. “You’re hilarious. The idea in itself is laughable.” He smirked, clapping a hand onto Jerry’s shoulder. “You see--well, it’s like this. Christmas is--well, to most people, it means friends and family, gifts, warm greetings. Peace and goodwill toward fellow man. Deck the halls and all that shit. To others, it’s a symbol of faith, of a son of God born to a carpenter’s virgin wife, who so happened to save all of mankind from sin, or so it goes. As for me?” He shrugged. “I just don’t see where I fit into all this. I don’t have any family, and I don’t have faith in God or religion or any of that organized bullshit. To me, Christmas is just another day. And what do I do on any other given day, aside from get drunk in cemeteries and pass out next to Miss Helena Finlay here?” He slapped the headstone for emphasis and almost fell over.

“I see your point,” admitted Jerry. “However, there’s one thing you’re wrong about.” He slipped an arm around Glenn’s waist, drawing him in against his side for warmth. “Christmas isn’t only about God and commercialism and everything you seem to hate in this world--which, help us all, seems to be a lot.” He smiled and ran a hand over Glenn’s dark hair, ruffling it playfully. “It’s also, as you said, about friends and family. And you’ve got both of those. Doyle and I, we’re your friends. And your family. And we both love you, man--I love you.” Shit. He said it before he could catch himself; luckily, the latter seemed too drunk to process the full implications of the words. Glenn was giggling again, looking up at Jerry with dark, wide eyes.

“Did you just tell me you love me, Jerry?”

“Yes,” Jerry stated boldly, “I did.” Because I know you’re too far gone to remember this tomorrow. Glenn smirked devilishly and, as if reading Jerry’s mind, leaned in to whisper in his ear.

“I’m not as think as you drunk I am, y‘know.”

Thankfully, thought Jerry, he seemed the contrary.

“Yeah?” He turned his head and pressed his lips softly to Glenn’s temple. “I wouldn’t do that when you were sober.” He smiled. “Why don’t you come on back with me? You’re more than welcome in our house. You know that.”

“Fine, if you’ll stop your bellyaching.” Glenn grinned playfully. “And give me back my damn Jaeger.”

“I’ll think about it,” lied Jerry. He pushed himself up off the ground and reached a hand down to help Glenn up. Getting the drunken singer home would certainly prove a challenge. Jerry was glad his house was only a few blocks down. He slipped a strong arm around Glenn’s waist, supporting him. “Come on, let’s go.”

“You know I love you too, right, Jerry?” Glenn threw an arm around Jerry’s neck. “’Cause, you know, I do.”

“Yeah,” Jerry smiled to himself. “I know.”

As they left the cemetery arm-in-arm, the first small flakes of Christmas snow began to wind down from the midnight sky. “Merry Christmas, Glenn,” he whispered, giving the small singer a tight squeeze. Glenn wrinkled his nose playfully.

“Yeah, whatever.”