‘Tis the Season

Christmas. With the seasonal cheer comes the ghosts of Christmases past. Happy days sipping mulled wine in sub-zero temperatures; slightly less happy days in a doctor’s office sipping tap water as my mind unravelled. Ah, what a difference a day/month makes!

I wanted this Christmas to be one of the happier ones, but I’m afraid it would instead be just about bearable. Gatherings to attend, horrible company parties I intend to sleepwalk through (but unfortunately I was given a starring role by some fuckwit in the office…), gifts to mechanically buy and give. And through it all, that horrible thought at the back of my head that I really fucked up this time, that I threw away a perfectly good thing ( a functional thing, at the very least), and that now there are too many loose ends for there ever to be a clean resolution.

At  the same time I know that ‘the perfectly good thing’ is flawed, perhaps right from the start. It’s not enough for something to be ‘functional’; it’s not enough to merely enjoy time spent together in a moderate way. Perhaps I’m idealistic and childish to hope for transcendence in a world where most relationships are transitory and most connections impure. But shouldn’t one at least expect not to be misunderstood? Understanding is the cornerstone of all friendships/relationships and I feel like me and everyone I know are constantly missing the mark here.

And then, slowly, one grows into a version of yourself which hews closest to other people’s understanding of you. Shortly thereafter, your real self gets smaller and smaller and one day it vanishes altogether. At least that’s the story here.

Sad and angry in equal measure at the choices I made, and those that other people have made. I do not want to deliberately let myself drift away from human contact but there’s also the perverse desire to slip out –  out of the room, out of this mesh of messy relationships, out and under.

Fuck Christmas. It’s all plastic Santas and light pollution anyway. I think I’ll skip midnight mass this year an instead stay home and finish reading ‘A Start in Life’ by Anita Brookner, a sadly funny book about a middle-aged woman whose inner sense of drama never quite translated into real-life adventures (sounds familiar?)

But oh, underneath it all, how I still long for that fairytale end!


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