Overheard: Expensive beer and Steve Stamkos.
Where it took me: The people beside me at Starbucks were going through all the details of their upcoming holiday plans, and debating whether to spend their money on hockey tickets (whose shorthand was ‘expensive beer and Steve Stamkos’); or a few nights at a hotel. A few days later, at a workshop, I was given a prompt to list all the sights, sounds, and smells I could think of related to a holiday that I celebrate; and then to write about holiday disappointment, incorporating everything on the list. The result is this entirely fictional poem; being Jewish, I don’t have Christmas holiday memories; and I have no reason to believe something awful happened to that guy beside me. But I do know that expectations veer wildly from reality, sometimes in the worst possible ways.