Christmas Eve Eve – Just After Midnight
It could take a while to write this post. I have been adding points to a draft for a day or two and those bullets seem to be spilling onto the page like bloody Jackson Pollock injuries.
As I write on my phone with its cracked screen – I dropped it flat on concrete earlier – I’m trying to run scans and updates on my laptop to fix the random lettering that skips along like the cursor is on amphetamines. I don’t really know what it’s like to be on amphetamines but I’m guessing it’s one of the hyper highs. I’ve never even smoked hash: I think most of my mates have, in college, but then I was teen mom being all responsible and shit, ruining my life in other ways. Notably getting addicted to dickheads.
I really wish autocorrect would get its head out of its own propriety filled arse and start logging curse words in its vocabulary bank. It bugs me having to retype “fucking dickhead” hundreds of times.
I have no idea what I’m doing with this computer, by the way. It seems to be frozen now.
I’m feeling very sad. Also very tired. And a bit queasy. I won’t blame My Lady’s midnight cheese toastie for that: we got home just minutes into Christmas Eve. My plan to bake and pack didn’t go too well as after my second Interlude yesterday evening I fell asleep for another two and a half hours. I blame the dogs: Hal at my feet, AnnaPuppy on my lap. Two bundles of warm, lovely paws and I was out like a cheap bulb.
Laptop’s definitely ducked. FUCKED, autocorrect, damn you!
Ok, bed. I haven’t written anything on my “to write about” list yet and the laptop needs some sort of antibiotic, such is its level of infection but it can wait.
It’s now five thirty on Christmas Eve. It doesn’t seem like it at all. Something’s missing. Santa not visiting anymore has had an impact on our Christmas. It’s funny how something that brings so much stress into your life ends up being mourned when it’s gone. I think not giving gifts this year has also rubbed some of the sparkle off the top of the tree star too.
I feel like a bit of a fraud, which is exactly what multinational advertising agencies want me to feel. Am I using my new found anti-commercialism as an excuse for my not having bought presents? Is being anti-buying mass produced shite a symptom of my current financial predicament or of my nonchalance about the big festive blow out? I want to feel Christmassy: I feel under pressure to be glitzy but really I’ll be glad when it’s all over; ElsaDaughter’s back at school; the evenings lengthen and I can plough on with a life plan, or at least a solid and stabilising daily routine.
I thought over the last few years I had detected a lull in the all consuming consumerism to which we fell victim during the Boom Years. I sensed a re-evaluation of priorities what with so many migrants away from home and the simple fact that we could no longer splurge on the old MBNA credit cards to buy stupidly priced gizmos for family and friends who’d grown up with an orange in the bottom of their Christmas stocking. But this year – and maybe things never really changed and it’s just my warped, or perhaps clearer, perception – I feel very excluded from the financial side of the season and therefore from the essence of what Christmas has become: a corporate led social construct where every house is supposed to look like a scene from Home Alone (prior to the Wet Bandits’ arrival) and everyone comes to a beautiful and monumental communal high like poor old George Bailey.
I keep thinking about that homeless chap and his lovely dog Millie.
Everytime I flick open Omniscient Social Networking Site I am greeted with mental health charities, suicide prevention agencies and individuals who aren’t glowing like a fairy light posting helpline numbers, inspirational quotes and reminders that you don’t have to have the perfect Christmas: it’s ok not to be Keira Knightley in “Love Actually”; it’s ok to be Bridget Jones.
Fuck it, I’m angry that Christmas has been reduced to this mass produced, soulless frenzy of materialistic and social perfection.
My Lady, a reasonably rational woman (I said, reasonably…) claims not to be a huge fan of the seaon, in fact she gets inevitably stressed trying to provide the perfect family holiday for us all. But yet, she goes completely over the top with wreaths, lights, baubles, two trees, ornaments, presents, food (there are five different types of pâté). EVERYTHING is Christmasified. The joke is if you stand still long enough you’ll have holly in your hair and a headdress of crystallised snowflake bulbs.
I’ve always loved Christmas but this year I feel like I see through it. I feel like a completely separate human to that whose psyche I inhabited ten years ago. I remember when I used to drive an hour to Dundrum every Friday after school to do my grocery shopping in Marks & Spencer; how I spent four hundred and fifty euro on Six Nations tickets for my husband and thought nothing of going to Cornelscourt and spending five hundred quid on new Christmas decorations. My, how the times have changed. I can’t fathom that now. What void was I trying to fill?
There have been so many appeals for information on missing people over the last week that it can’t go unquestioned if their disappearances are in some way related to this highly perfected imposition of mirth and cheer upon us. This fall from Celtic Tiger grace; this wasteland of our government’s, and our own, making. Our genetically inherent obsession with the land and financial and social autonomy must have something to do with this. And now we’re back on our knees: digging for pennies as if they were blighted spuds.
I wonder what goes through someone’s head when they vanish the week before Christmas? What am I taking about? I don’t need to wonder.
I got a letter from my solicitor’s legal team and a very famous debt collection agency on Monday. Great timing. The organisations are demanding two thousand seven hundred euro from me in “alleged” legal fees due to said solicited for, and I’m not joking or underestimating this, four letters and maybe three hour long consultations after I left The Husband, so that was seven years ago. She didn’t secure me a legal separation, any maintenance payment, custody/access plan or resolution on the properties and I’m
still paying off our joint bills and loans, ON MY OWN! I’ve already paid her about a grand. Is it just me or does anyone else smell extortion? I made it clear in an email to her and a call to Debt Collectors R Us that they can fucking sing for it. On my list of priorities of who to pay, they’re not even top twenty. But I’m proud I fought my corner. A few months, even weeks, ago I would have handed that over to my mother or ignored it. I think My Lady was shocked and excited to hear the fury and fight in my voice when she called me to tell me about it. She had been hesitant in case it set me back, instead it spurred me to argue my case.
The sadness seems to be gripping my gut, searching for some sort of lifeline into my memory path. Every now and again this immediate loneliness, melancholy, grief – something or all of those, pours a pitcher of blue sorrow (that’s not a hipster cocktail) into my veins and I’m topped up with enough gloomy woe to cover Finland, which, let me tell you, is a depressing fucking country with very little daylight, too much God damned snow and not enough alcohol to make the pasty men look hot.
It’s nine on Christmas morning: at least I don’t have the five am mania anymore.
My dreams were strange: featuring the ghosts of boyfriends and flings past. And I was back in school, sixth year, wearing a very short school kilt, desperately trying to pull it down to cover myself up, and running so late I’d missed nearly all of my first day. I don’t know what all of that means.
I feel so sad and lost. Sadness is not a emotion I’m used to. Despite what people think, depression isn’t really about sadness. Some of the other emotions and states of being can be managed: fear; rage; inertia; panic. Even the psychological removal from your own being can sometimes be overcome with the right training. But sadness lingers, just like The Cranberries’ song: it’s there and it gets stuck in your head.
I sent Berger a text to say Happy Christmas: “You too”, I got back. Pretty cold. After so many Christmases together, or semi-together, you’d think I’d get more than that. But I’m nothing to him now other than a bitter, ridiculous memory. I tried, I took the moral high ground. The view is good from up here.
The Nordie blew me out too. Not sure why: if a reason is even needed. I wasn’t too bothered, great guy and all but just no wow factor between us. Still I keep thinking it’s me.
There must be something wrong with me that after two dates it all falls apart. This blog isn’t about my love life (you’d be forgiven for thinking it was) which, as always, is more action packed than a recent Liam Neeson picture (when did Liam Neeson turn into Bruce Willis?). But I feel a bit like Ebeneezer: visited, textually, mentally or subsciously in my sleep by the loneliness of singledom. And that, of course, fucks up my mental health.
There’s also Dad-of-Two who I liked, he’s read the blog so I guess that could be a reason why he seems to be becoming more and more elusive. And as for The Good Doctor, I believe as soon as he heard the full story of The Thing That Happened he was immediately sexually repulsed by me… or maybe I’m just fat? Who the fuck knows. I’m not even including a ? at the end of that sentence because it’s a rhetorical fucking question and nobody knows what goes through a man’s head.
I didn’t expect Christmas to be this hard. Yes, I should be grateful: I’m not sitting with a paper cup on Grafton Street looking on with only my poor dog for company in a world obsessed with buying something, being someone and going somewhere.
It’s eight on Christmas Day. It’s been a wonderful day with my immediate family and my darling godmother The Librarian and Zara Phillips. The sadness abated. At times during the day I had flashes of panic and worry: I’d fixate on some lost friendship; some bill; some part of my body that disgusts me and ten minutes later I’d be desperately trying to remember what fleeting concern had started the gnawing at my innards.
But we had fun. I got one super fast walk in earlier with AnnaPuppy and another after dinner with My Lady, which was a perfect opportunity to wrong the rights of the male world, most notably, those crimes of John Knox; Berger; New Boy even came up (remember him? Me neither); The Husband and Father Rory Best.
Did I ever tell you about the super early miscarriage? I feel bad calling it that because I didn’t know I was pregnant and I feel guilty on so many levels about the whole thing. Is there a title for it that can scale it down so it doesn’t seem belittling to women who lose pregnancies they planned or at a later stage? I hardly ever talk about it. It was shit and I went loopy. But anyway, another time.
It’s been a lovely day. Looking at those women today: MY women, I felt their courage seep into me. My Lady and The Librarian have been through worse than me and come out as warm, beautiful, giving, independent, cultured, stylish, talented women and reliable, loving mothers. Our daughters are stars in pre-production. And Miss Marple. My Nana. That old bird.
Amongst it all is my uncle, Tom Selleck. More like a dad to me than my own father most of the time.
God, I’m lucky. I’m here. I’m still going. The days are not all sparkly lights and the nights are often more like dead brown Christmas trees than starlit snow angels. But yeah, 2014 is nearly over and I got through Christmas with a real smile or two, not just a fake plastic tree.