The bell on the door announced the arrival of a customer to the only person in the bar, the owner.

“Hey, Jack.”

The man simply nodded an acknowledgement as he sat on a stool.  His black hair was disheveled, and his overcoat was soaked.

“What are you doing out tonight?”

“Heh.  I might ask why you are open.”

“Fair enough.  But if I weren’t open, where would you go?”

“So it’s some sort of symbiotic relationship of loneliness, huh?”

The owner nodded.  “I figure there might be somebody who needs a drink tonight.  And here you are.”

“And your wife doesn’t mind?”

“She used to.  Now I suspect she’s very happy with her new husband.”

“Oh.  Sorry.”

“That was a long time ago.  What about you?  No one waiting for you at home?”

“Anyone who might have cared about me lives hundreds of miles from here.”

“Well, then, at least we have this place.”

“Indeed.”  Jack raised his glass to the owner.  “Merry Christmas.”

In response, the owner poured himself a shot and mimicked Jack’s toast.  “Merry Christmas, indeed.”

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