Christmas is Dead

In 2015, I will look back to this year’s Christmas and I will think of it as a joke, a prank, a comical parade of everything ludicrous and shameful in our sorry lives.

In 2015, I will remember the silence and how it muffled every sound in the world when I wished everyone a Merry Christmas. But what do these words mean other than the vacant sound of a syllabic ho-ho-ho and the empty rhythm of an old Christmas medley?

In 2015, I will remember the look on my sister’s face, the crack in her fading voice, as she whispered to me on the night before Christmas, “Hey, it doesn’t feel like Christmas at all”, and in that moment I caught myself defenseless by the honesty of her expression, by the gravity of its truth.

Tell me then, what’s Christmas supposed to feel like? What thrill must there be in our hearts, what presents must we receive, in order to feel that it is Christmas? I had nothing more to say to her other than what we both already knew and felt. I peered into her young searching heart, into her juvenile soul, and saw my own dizzying reflection. I looked away for I know what was missing.

In 2015, I will remember my mother’s face and how I see in her eyes an attempt to reconstruct our lives after the image of her own ideals. I drown in my mother’s reverie and sunk into her vast ocean dream for in there I am nothing more than a speck of dust or a splinter of wood floating helplessly in the open possibilities of the things she dream for us all.

But what does she remember when she think of me? Is she proud of me—or has she ever been? Or does this pride belong only to the level of the shallow and the superficial, for underneath the words lies the throbbing truth of the matter: to my mother I am only a big bright sparkling disappointment wrapped in golden paper and red ribbon.

In 2015, I will remember the city lights as it beamed one after another into the dimness of the car window like colored comets passing into the vastness of space. I fixed my gaze into the city silhouettes and traced the outlines that divide matter and form, form and matter, until there was nothing left in my sight but the bleakness of my surrender.

In 2015, I will remember the sun and how on Christmas Day it hid itself behind the clouds as if to betray us, to forsake us. I will remember the look on Daddy’s face as he stepped out of his car and forged a smile as half-baked as my blanched skin. I will remember my voice, small and squeamish, begging for what he was never ready to give, demanding for what was already insolvent. I will remember the surprise on my face when he introduced me to his new girlfriend, and how I wished to bleed with madness at the sight of the woman who now owns Dad. How I wished for her to be nameless, non-existent, right at that very moment. How I wished to erase her from the picture so Mom and Dad and me and my siblings could have Christmas just as before.

Ah—the foolishness, the ignorance!

But I guess part of the coping mechanism (or is it the defense?) is to act as if you care, as if it all still matters to you, as if you still want them to get back together someday. The funny thing is, somewhere deep down, beneath all the tough act and the devil-may-care facades, my lost orphaned soul still hopes for it to happen, still longs for a day when I would come home to find Dad in the bedroom watching zombie movies, to see Mom burning dinner in the kitchen, to hear my sister’s cat fights and to look at my brother’s stuff scrambled on the floor. You know what people say about the past, about how it is perpetually beyond our reach? I would trade all of my present to have at least one brief moment of the past.

Ah—the foolishness, the ignorance!

Most people would suppose it’s easy to live with the reality of having a family like ours. After all, things like these aren’t new in our age and time. Films, pop songs, social media, and even our own first-hand experiences have us bastardized and debauched by the reality of marriage disintegrations and family separations. But still the prevalence of separation does not in any account alleviate the burden it brings not only to the parties involved but to their children as well.

If I could only stand next to Daddy and demand from him the compensation for the moral damages that were inflicted upon my brother and sisters. If I could only look straight at Mom and insist for an atonement, for anything at all. The law does that, doesn’t it? But what do our lawyers tell us about indemnification? They tell us not about getting even, but about getting more. They tell us to demand for money, for property, to pay for what was damaged, what was lost.

Ah—the foolishness, the ignorance!

But how could I demand from Mom and Dad when they themselves were the casualties, when they themselves were victims of the flaw? Maybe after all these years they have already moved on. Maybe my brother and sisters have already moved on too. Maybe I am the only one left in the family who knows not to let things go. Maybe, a thousand maybe’s.

In 2015, I will look back to this year’s Christmas and I will think of it as a joke, a prank, a comical parade of everything ludicrous and shameful in our sorry lives. In 2015, I will forgive myself for not letting go too soon or for forgetting too late. In 2015, Mommy’s crying silence would not hurt as much as Daddy’s phony gestures did. In 2015, when my sister tells me “Hey, it doesn’t feel like Christmas at all”, I will tell her to fuck it, and we will have a blast. By then it will all make sense.

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