December proved tough; already an orphan, Linda had no family left after her aunt's arrest. Decorations and seasonal cheer just reminded her how alone she was.
When her new boss whisked her out of the office early for a "festival," she tried to protest. "Don't worry," Gary cajoled, "it's not that kind of holiday."
He led her through Chinatown to a little temple. Incense and chants soothed her; neither the company nor the dough balls were too sweet. "Tashi delek," they called after the departing couple.
"Good fortune," he translated. "Or near enough."
And it was.
This drabble is posted in honor of the Tibetan/Chinese New Year, called Losar in Tibet and celebrated next Monday (February 8). Even though Gary became a fully American hero, I think he would still honor some of the customs of his youth. You can learn more about this holiday at the Kopan Monastery of Nepal's website.