Grabbing Christmas by the balls.

Boules

For many years, now, the holiday season tends to bring me down. Christmas is for young children. I’m one no more and I my son is now a man. Christmas is for family and I shunned mine so much that I feel uneasy around them. Christmas is for lovers and… well, shit.

What happened to that little sunshine in the pit of my stomach at the idea of ​​giving and receiving? Where has gone the days when I applied myself, tongue out, to put glitter on a card for my mother? The days when I tore with anticipation the green and gold paper, a red bow taped on top of my head? The days when I indulged with Bing Crosby on the tip of the brain?

Is this woman gone? Have I become that cynical? Am I that so deep in that “Screw the consumer society” that I refuse myself the pleasure splurging? Am I so hurt from all sorts of unclear business that a walk on the streets, decorated, lit, rainy and muddy, makes me want to unload a 50 caliber at the speakers just to stop hearing them spitting their insufferable hoedown?

I want to get away from all this sudden joy, fake, feigned, painted on. All this abundance. All these obligations. All these trips. All these expenses. All this food! I want to slip under a warm blanket and hibernate. I want to watch The Sound of Music, alone and drunk, lying on my couch stained by meat pie. As usual.

But at the same time … This longing I feel for a slice of homely tradition.

Yesterday, I installed some shimmering and festive blues bulbs in my living room. I turned off all the lamps to better savor the flickering. I wrapped some presents, my tongue finding again the corner of my mouth while I was fighting with the scotch tape.

I will put colors on my cheeks and place kisses on those of others. I will ask the cousins ​​how’s life and bum a cigarette to the nephews. I’ll be amaze of how the young ones have grown!  I will help my aunt in the kitchen and be in her way. I’ll be too hot and my socks on the carpet will make me give shocks to people.

I will receive a gift or a compliment that will embarrass me. I will give a little something to my son with a couple of hundred dollars rolled in. My mother, a lovely day planner. There are conversations that will never be completed, others never started. There will be hugs and tassels. There will be good wine and some hassles.

In short, this year, I’m grabbing Christmas by the balls and having dinner with my family.

Because, basically, Yuletide is just a date that we gave ourselves to say, in the clumsiest way, how much we love each other.

And I simply can go back to being cynical on January 6th.

Merry Christmas to all!

And to all… you know… that Doctor Seuss crap.

 

 

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A conscious introvert.

Introversion

“You’re an extrovert, it shows!” They tell me, face three inches too deep in my bubble. Although I did find a way to wave my arms, mimicking the joy of being in society, I rarely am as happy as at home, alone.

Hi. My name is Christine F. And I’m a conscious introvert…

I grew up hiding behind the legs of tables or adults, gauging strangers, never knowing what to say. Maybe because I’m an only child. Maybe because I stumbled early on some untrustworthy humans. I don’t know. I have always preferred being in the darkness of my wardrobe, reading comics lit by phosphorescent toys.

Obviously, this trait gave me a shitty adolescence. A youth spent with my thumbs in my palms and my backbone in the corners of rooms. A perfect bully magnet.

My parents were worried, wanted me to make friends, go out a little! But, in my neurotic mind, going to a school party meant risking humiliation just like in the movie “Carrie” with the line “They’re all gonna laugh at you!!” looping endlessly. And without the super kinesthetic powers to kill the tyrants.

Later in life, I found a great way to get out of my shell! My magic potion? Gin and tonic! My armor? Whore fashion! Why talk to people, when people come to you! Well, of course, by “people”, I mean “men”. And by “men”, I mean “apes in heat.” My weapon? Projectile bitching! I won’t get hurt if I hurt you first!  Zing! Kapow !!

It made for several very sad end of nights, I must say…

Still convinced that I had to change my personality, I threw myself into phobic situations as if it were a cure for shyness. I stifled my anxiety under dirty jokes; shook my carcass like an exuberant; stretched my body with others on blue mats; visited festivals crowded with oxygen suckers; participated in pretentious galas; danced around Ponzi scams disguised as fun ring-dings and spaghetti dinners spiced with irritating decibels.

I even went through two surprise birthday parties where no one noticed that I was going to the bathroom to breathe into my hands, calculating how to run away from there.

The more I pretended extroversion, the more my vital energy was draining. I was starting to hate it when friends invited me for coffee, giving myself gastroenteritis just to cancel. I was chewing so much on my social nerve that the littlest thing got me anxious. My esophagus narrowed just at the idea of ​​returning a call. Some unexpected knocks on my door and I was joining the cat behind the dryer.

So, one day, I snapped.  My son had left the house and I had left my spouse. I went back to the dark. I wasn’t seeing anyone. Alone! At last, all alone! I became a recluse one jar of urine short of Howard Hughes.

My circle of companions shrunk, no one inviting me anywhere, since I never came. I could count my friends on the fingers of one hand which had held a lit stick of dynamite.

A loner that suffers from loneliness is laughable and sad.

Today, I am talking to you, standing on a rock, deep in the cave of my blog, to say that introverts can live in a balanced way. Understand that we are woven in a different fiber. That we are not depressed, snob, angry or crazy. We love people. Only, our gentle and quiet life pleases us more than anything.

I finally regained the pleasure of earthly contacts. I just have to choose who and when. And keep it short.

So if you meet me somewhere, gin and tonic at the mouth, come and have a chat! There’s a chance that I won’t stay long…

The vigil.

 

Montre

I get the call. The end is coming. I’m not surprised. I’ve seen his body distorted by this horrible and terrifying cancer. I’ve heard his voice compressed by the scythe to his throat.

It’s time. Despite drugs and good care, nothing can stop all the ills that flesh is heir to. He must now leave this disgusting envelope, shuffle off this mortal coil. He is sick of it. And so are others. Wounds, sores, ulcers. Tubes, pipes, probes. Blood, pus, feces.

I go to the palliative care hospice. I am greeted, for almost the sixth week, by the soft bubbling of the fountain and the tender look of a bubbly receptionist.

I take my time before turning the corner to room 102. I suddenly regret having chosen not to take any anti anxiety pills. The angels of death walk by softly and smile at me with compassion.

His brother meets me at the door, glad not do the vigil alone. And there he is, lying on the bed, eaten away by evil, knocked out by a coma-cocktail that keeps his mouth wide open. I am fond of this agonizing human being. My heart feels tight, alternating between love and fear.

The hours go one by one, like a rosary made of coffee beans. I fight to stay awake, emptying the pot as quickly as it is filled. I often rest my head on the cupboard of the kitchenette and try to ignore the cries of a family who has lost their child or mother.

The first night of a vigil that will last four, he is lucid enough to understand what is happening. We promise him that we’ll stay with him until it’s over. He is stunned and terribly sorry it has to be so soon. He grabs our hands never to let go. This forces us to wipe our nose on our shirt sleeve when he’s not looking.

On the second night, he is delirious with his memories. It’s my favorite moment. Seeing him trying to get up to fix a nonexistent crooked frame. Or getting impatient, calling me a name I don’t know, insisting that I hop behind him on his motorcycle.

The third night, his death rattle echoes the murmur of the humidifier. This sound is horrible for the living. I think of my son. I get submerged by sorrow when I imagine that, one day, he may have to suffer my own demise this way.

The fourth night, his brother and I are almost accustomed to hear doom exhale in gurgling waters from his chest. The angels wash him and fill him with chemicals. Each time, we seize the opportunity to eclipse ourselves. My uncle has scotch. Yes, please.

Oh, how the Reaper does take it’s time! As I look upon the dying man who was a father to me gasp for air and turn blue, I pray: “Come on! Die! I beg of you, stop! I can’t anymore! Die already!” But he will leave as he has lived: stubborn, rebellious, drinking life, even if rancid, until the last drop.

At dawn, his jaw makes one final click, his eyes open and a grayish film covers them. The long-awaited silence is suddenly even more terrible than anything. I kiss his forehead, his cheeks, whispering little girl stupidities in his ear. I turn to his brother and we cling to each other like a raft at sea.

The angels wash him one last time. They put on him a shirt and perfume. They stick a flower between his fingers that I hastily remove. He would have hated this image. I grab his watch on the nightstand. It’s mine. I’ve decided. I look at the time. 4:47 am. Through the window, geese draw a check mark in the sleepy sky.

Finally. Finally, I tell myself.

Although I know that, tomorrow, there will be void.

Heartbreak and the ego burn.

blessureego1

 

Is your ego as fragile as mine? If so, there’s a good chance that you’ll go through a breakup with great distress. But, maybe I can help you with that.

You see, we take it personally, like a staff to the sternum, when it really is «not us, but them». They don’t love you like you do. That’s all. Not a fun feeling, but shouldn’t be the end of your world.

In a past life, I had a split that got to the very core of my atoms and I went nuclear. I howled like a creature with a bullet to the flank, its leg shaking to each spasm. I mopped the floor with my tear soaked hair. The salty drops dripped through the slats, relentlessly, forming a calcium crust on the bath mat of my downstairs neighbor.

Thinking I’d never recover and would die of grief…. Thinking about slitting my wrists on the steps of the liberated one, just so he’d be pissed off having to clean the words « I hate you for not loving me» scrawled with clotted hemoglobin.

Oh, the unprecedented violence of a scorned woman! The pain of rejection that twists, writhes, rings the insides and leaves you begging the forces of evil. With glanders and snot running between the knees, conniving how to “get him back”. To top it off,  having the girlfriends, heads to the side, hands on their chest, crapping turnkey sentences.

Mercy! Please stop quoting Paolo Coelho! Men either screw me for a while and dump me because I’m a basket case, or they kiss the ground I walk on, I find it highly suspicious and run away.  There is no in between.

So, one evening, I was watching “The Bachelor” (if you could not judge me while I reveal myself, thank you) and I witnessed the embarrassing spectacle of chicks getting as unglued as their false lashes over being disposed of, and it hit me: Girls and their daddy issues. As obvious as a cigar in the mouth of Freud.

The zero injury. The one that made me compose with rejection as gracefully as Kanye West at the Grammys. I knew I had childhood wounds, I’m batshit crazy, not stupid. But suddenly, an epiphany: My ego boo boo! The abandonment of my father and the obsession that arose from it.

On the rocks, it’s not my heart that hurts, it’s my pride. What I’m really sensing is not as much the loss of the man of my dream, than the loss of my self esteem. Once I understood the distinction, I scolded myself “Well… simmer the crazy down, chill the freak out and do not ever do that again!” Then I switched from The Bachelor to Hockey Night in Canada.

In short, dear separation crippled friends, keep in mind that it is vital to reassure your inner toddler by whispering softly, “Get over it! It’s not about you, child!” This will keep your floor dry, your mind clear and your heart pumping blood through veins that will not be cut for anyone.