Notes From The Flip Side: 12.19.1999
In 1996, I left San Diego on Christmas Eve with the woman I was in love with and went to Las Vegas. I didn't spend the holiday with my family; by May, I had buried everyone and was trying to adjust to life without a net. Christmas in 1997 was made easier with the help of tequila sunrises. I spent Christmas in 1998 with my fiancee and her cat. She opened packages, the cat played with the wrapping paper and I felt as though things might be looking up. She married the guy she was having an affair with several months ago.
I'm sure, based on that information, everyone can understand why I don't feel like this is a holiday for me anymore. I don't have a Norman Rockwell family to go home to. I don't have a family at all. I don't have a sweetheart or wife to spend it with. I just have an aching heart and pain to spare for anyone who needs it. People ask me what my plans are. Plans? Haven't made any. No one to make them with and no reason to make them. Am I done with my Christmas shopping? I'd probably start laughing if I wasn't trying so goddamn hard not to cry. Who exactly am I going to buy presents for? Most of my friends no longer live in this town; I've always had a problem with giving gifts to acquaintances. This isn't all bad. It makes Christmas shopping exceedingly easy - one present for the office gift exhange and that's it. I fulfill expected social obligations and ignore everything else. And usually, I can almost make it through by turning on autopilot and concealing everything I feel.
I can look beyond my life and see what's really at issue here - Christmas isn't a holiday for me because it isn't a holiday for any of us. It's a holiday co-opted by marketers, a shell containing the notions of charity and good will which is painted in greed and commerce. I'm tired of it, and I won't fall prey to it anymore.
It's been a long week for me. I apologize for not having done much except pick up a bass guitar. The reviews from Issue #2 are in progress and should be done by the next update.