To Not Weep and Repent
Christmas in Newark, Delaware gets a new visual.
As the masses in Newark, Delaware trudged through the snow, a grayness colored the sky in the late afternoon. Smells of chicken broth from the soup kitchens arose just as quickly. Everyone looked down at the ground. They didn’t peer at their phones or the patterns in the street, but at their chests. The people looked like birds pecking at their breasts, but permanently. No music, no candles, no bright electric lights, no carolers, no signs showed that this was Christmastime. People just fulfilled their daily tasks on whatever job that they held. The drudgery was like a lash whipping away their joy, their spirit.
This was until a 12-year-old girl name Uneeq Wallace ran from her home. She had just got done making with her camera, a few friends, and some pluck the most elaborate, colorful, and life-affirming visual that had ever been produced... by a 12-year-old. She ventured through the city and began tugging at the grown ups. She looked the children in the face. Their countenances were slabs of granite. The adults just shooed her away. They even kicked her out of their paths. Uneeq then journeyed to city hall to talk with Mayor Hovington.
“Sir, I know that you’re busy, but I must tell you that the people of Newark, Delaware have got it all wrong.”
“All wrong you say? What’s your name, kid?”
“‘Unique,’ I know. But we’ve got to discuss this Christmas business. Businessmen and women have worked far too smart to produce the goodies that this holiday affords. From investment bankers to CEOs of the biggest companies, they have allowed their wealth to flood down to even the lowest rungs of the ladder.”
“You’re a smart child.”
“So, will you go out there and address to the good people of this city that Christmas is a time to celebrate and be merry and jolly and good?”
“I can’t do that.”
“Things are too bad in this world. We have to suffer along with everyone else. That includes during the Christmas season. We have to consider the sacrifices and the selflessness of everyone that has gone through something this year. It’s the faith that will sustain us.” He pointed out of his window. “You see that face? That man there is Lionel Jenkins. He lost his job at the auto factory this past autumn.” He pointed his finger again. “And that’s Gaynor Phillips. She went bankrupt while playing the stock market. So you see, these people, among the thousands of them, have no cheer in their hearts because of what has befallen them,” Hovington said.
“I can instill in their minds the hope and joy and self-interest of Christmas.”
“Oh and how is that? All these people know is to weep and repent.”
Uneeq plopped her backpack on the mayor’s desk. She withdrew from it her tablet.
“I’ve just made a Christmas visual. Everything that ails these people will be lifted and brought into glorious focus once they see it.”
Mayor Hovington remained intrigued.
“I’ll watch five minutes of it.” By the forty minute mark, Hovington had wiped away a tear. By the visual’s end, he applauded. “You’ve got something there.”
“Look, I can get this projected on the campus of Delaware Institute of Technology (DIT). Then we could possibly lift the spirits of everyone out there.”
Night had fallen. Uneeq and Hovington organized a way for the visual to show on one of the buildings that everyone would see. First they had to get their heads lifted. Uneeq stood in front of the wall that would display the visual.
“Merry Christmas,” she exclaimed. And everyone’s heads rose.
They watched the picture and began to laugh, cry, sway, cheer, and sing. Strings of twinkling colored lights glowed as storekeepers strung them above their doors and in their windows. Victuals and drink stored away to prevent the idea of happiness saw their way into kitchens and bakeries. Soon, the smells of stollen, ham, eggnog, and hot chocolate drifted through the air. Uneeq smiled at the Mayor and he stepped back and allowed her to take a bow.