Fuck Christmas in the neck with a cookie cutter. I'm homesick. I'm exhausted. I'm longing for the normal that never was. I'm forgetting why I left. I'm angry. I'm resentful. It's Troubled's fault I can't go home. It's Juvie's fault I can't go home. It's Mr. K.'s fault I can't go home. I'm waiting for him to fuck up and stay a drunk and go to the hospital for the third time and maybe finally admit that he needs help but it will be too late because he's already lost me. Anyway, he's taking too damn long to implode, and, in the meantime, I'm missing Christmas.
I want to make cookies. I want to see unpack my Christmas things. I want to argue about whether it's the year for the small tree in the bay window that I like or the large tree taking up the whole damn room, even up against the wall, that Mr. K. likes. We alternate years because I'm accommodating like that. I know lots of couples where the wife gets her way about everything, mostly because she cares about getting everything just so, and the husband cares more about keeping peace and being left alone. But in my family, I want things a certain way, but I don't feel strong enough to fight for them. Mr. K. wants the opposite almost on purpose. You can tell it wasn't something he felt strongly about until he saw that it would be a fight. That he would always win.
I want to make Christmas. Except I don't really. In fact, a small part of me is rather relieved that I don't have to make Christmas this year. Because either Christmas makes me hypomanic or my hypomania makes Christmas, but either way, it's a huge effort. One that I used to make, and gladly. But this year, because I don't get to, I don't want to, and I'm glad I don't, because I don't have that manic energy this year. I only have sadness, regret, longing, nostalgia, anger, and malaise in equal measure, in quick succession or all at once, I can't really tell.
I will stop by the house to bring the kids their presents, having agonized whether Troubled will be there, whether I should give her a present, whether she will give me one (last year she gave me two left suede pumps from Walmart, I am not even kidding right now), whether she will once again make herself the center of attention in that we will all nervously anticipate whether she will come and how she might act, whether she will be high, whether she will bring Juvie, whether he will enter the house, whether I will freak out about it when he does because you just know he will. The friends I see once a year will be there, and they will pull me aside and we will go into the bedroom where I will recount an abbreviated and watered-down version of the Nightmare Year, with the fact that we haven't discussed it until now hanging between us in a cloud of clumsy embarrassment. And the thing that will save me, the thing I will remember, the thing everyone will remember, is that I will have swept my adolescent son away to the movies, to the horror or amusement or envy of the gathering, for a joyous, irreverent viewing of Anchorman 2.
|Well, that escalated quikly|