Bert Rampart wrote a suicide note on Christmas Eve and put it in his wife’s stocking. He didn’t mean to do it on Christmas Eve but he meant to do it at some point and that point just happened to be the night before Christmas. Bert felt he needed to go and that he might as well go festively. It wasn’t meant to be cruel, he wasn’t reaching for the last laugh.
On Christmas morning Bert’s wife found the note in her stocking but she didn’t find Bert. She thought he must be dead. Probably drove his truck into a tree. Either that or he put one end of a tube into the exhaust pipe and wrapped the other end around and in through the driver’s side window. Rolled up the window and started the car. A quieter way to go and more like Bert. But when she went out front to see if his truck was gone from the driveway, or sitting there full of carbon monoxide, she instead found Bert standing next to it, smoking a cigarette. Snow was falling, it had been falling all night, and in the morning light the ground beneath their feet was glowing, a blinding white.
“You’ll catch a cold,” she said. “Why don’t you come on in?”