Christmas And Me Are Through
December 18 will forever burn in my memory as the day Christmas Jones walked out of my life. No warning, no note. Just a social media relationship change to single and then gone. That was a week ago.
The microwave beeps to tell me the food is done so I open the door and extract the half-frozen meal. I don’t really care. I hear what you’re really saying Mr. Microwave. Good job, wanker! You get frozen turkey dinners instead of a home-cooked meal with your love. I close the door and turn away. When I hear a tearing sound, I turn to see part of my robe is still inside the microwave. Of course. I’ve had this threadbare robe for years and have worn it a week straight over my t-shirt and sweatpants. Jerking my arm completes the tear and I shuffle to the kitchen table to go through the motion of eating. How did this happen?
I remember earlier this year in June, we met up at The Rose and Crown. She was already seated outside with some of her coworkers when I arrived with some of my mates. I can still picture her flowing red hair dancing in the breeze. I can still hear her laughter, child-like and playful. Her lips curled up and her smile dazzled. It always lit me up like a camera’s flash. Then she kissed me and I felt drunk. Only a part of that was from the whisky on her lips. Pulling away, she gazed at me and said, “Yes, Derek, I’ll move in with you.”
“We’re moving in together!” I said. The table erupted with congratulations from her coworkers and more than a few of my friends saying, “She’s too good for you!”. Right on cue, though, Christmas fired back at them, “Aw, with friends like you, who needs enemas?” Of course, this happened at what felt like a lull in every conversation at the pub, so all eyes turned to her. She smiled and everyone laughed.
My fork scraping empty plastic brings me back to the present. I guess I’m done eating. I drop the container atop the overflowing refuse and add the fork to the stack of dishes in the sink before shuffling to the living room. There it is. Our first Christmas tree as a couple. I hadn’t put up a tree since my parents passed three years ago, but Christmas was so excited to decorate a tree that I couldn’t resist. Now all it does is blink with abandonment. Wanker… wanker… wank, wank, wank, wank, wanker…
Looking around the room, my eyes settle on the mantel. At least I think it’s still a mantel. The decorations in disarray and empty liquor bottles overturned and broken might say otherwise. There are still two stockings hanging there, so I guess it still functions as a mantel. The stocking marked Derek in silver glitter glue hangs empty. The stocking marked Christmas in gold glitter glue holds a single piece of paper. I don’t recall putting anything inside, but upon closer examination, it’s my drunken handwriting and reads:
Oh, Santa Claus, Santa Claus
There’s no Christmas here anymore
Put the bells away
Burn the sleigh
Throw the presents out of my door
‘Cos she’s gone, gone
Everything they said was true
Christmas and me are through
That fits. The rest of the day is spent on the couch watching the telly and drinking Scotch until I fall asleep. That fits too. My cell phone beeping wakes me up the next morning. Wiping the sleep from my eyes I try to focus on the screen. It’s a text message that reads:
I’m sorry, we should talk. Love, Christmas