Of Christmas and Stuff
The man knew a few things for certain. He was no Scrooge. He was no Grinch.
But he sure as heaven knew that he was no Santa.
He didn’t mind the fact that at the tender age of four his parents had told him that Santa was a nonexistent being, one that simply worked as the mascot for the general Christmas season—and comparing the fat thing to a mascot made him mind the fact even less, due to his (unceasing) irrational fear of sport and all the likes. Santa was never the problem, and frankly having that knowledge that the other children his age had been withheld from made the season a bit whimsical, as if it were all a game of how long he could keep his mouth shut before making a child burst into tears with his new truth.
The man had never cared all that much for gifts, even when he was young. He was not the kind of boy that liked cars and trucks and things that oozed and stunk. Instead, he had his wide (for a brief moment in his life) eyes scan across thick, hardback books (and dolls with hot pink skirts and removable blond hair, but he found that fact irrelevant).
He also was not all that fond of departing from his house. If his parents had let him, he would have stayed up all day in his room on Christmas Eve until New Year’s Day without even a second of his eyes off the cream pages of an epic fantasy, science fiction, romance thriller novel. He had tried reading novels of the sort in public, but the stares he received were enough to make him want to end his life. (Perhaps it was because the robot hybrid male characters on the front covers, in their chiseled, venereal glory made passerby puzzled and prone to wonder why a boy of nine was reading such a thing.)
So he was certain. Certain that Christmas was a time to spend indoors amongst good company and fictional characters, a time to not waste upon asking for gifts, and an era that was never crushed by the nonexistence of Mr. Claus. A perfect recipe for the perfect holiday.
Then why, he thought as he sat upon a chair of brown leather, gazing out into a scene of colorful laughter and sparkling white across the black streets, did he not feel as happy as most on this day?
He rethought his cemented beliefs and for a moment put down his mug of cold coffee. Maybe those three reasons as to why Christmas should have been an immaculate spectacle were the same three reasons as to why for the past 27 years the season had been a complete bust.
The man had not gotten a single present since he was 17, the year his parents had moved to Denmark, leaving him with his ill grandmother. The man had stayed almost entirely indoors and by the fire on Christmas day from the moment he turned 18, thrown onto the streets to survive in some rundown rental after the death of his poor, stupid parents and previously mentioned grandmother.
And, lastly, he now despised Santa. A mascot of lies, more like it.
What could make such a bleak season bright? The man didn’t know. He assumed that despite living a fairly privileged life, he was only naturally a very miserable and sad man, and no circumstance could change such nature.
The doorknob began to twitch, and soon a woman came in, hair short and eyes brown, holding a frozen turkey. His wife smiled, and the man sunk further into his chair, staring at the fire intensely so his eyes wouldn’t start to water.
It was Christmas day; this was a fact he could not deny. His wife had travelled across town for hours trying to find a ham (which she found out had been sold out for days and promptly switched to search for a turkey in its stead), so the man had to at least pretend he was somewhat grateful for her noble sacrifice. Moments like this made him regret the fact they had no children. They would have served as a nice distraction, he thought, for these moments where he felt like nothing, entirely nothing at all. Stressed, peeved, excited, tired–those all sounded much better than the nothing.
The no kids situations was his fault, however. He had specifically told his wife that under no circumstances would they conceive, adopt, foster, or even babysit a child, so long as he was under their roof. He didn’t like children. His parents made him realize that being a child was one of the worst things you could be: stupid and at the whims of foolish guardians.
(What if he told his children at that tender age of four that there was no Santa? Would that make him a monster? Make them little beings that grew up to be big rectangles of nothing within a sphere of everything better? Would it? Would it?)
Cold coffee still within reach, he clamped his hands around the handle of the mug and sipped the rest of it down. He pondered over concepts more ambiguous than they were depressing. Would he get it right? Would he be better than the two that came before him, and the two before them, and the two before them?
He wouldn’t berate his male children for diverting from their “biological design”, nor would he with his female children. (He never found that to be a problem, raising a girl, he decided. It was easy to mold a girl into whatever you wanted them to be, for tomboys are quite desirable in comparison to a boy with an obsession with housewifes’ novels.) Though he never was told verbally, he always sensed some disappointment from his parents for being as he was. Maybe that was why they had left him with a blind, dying woman. Her nearly perished presence was more powerful than anything his parents had provided him.
A deaf woman offered an ear when his mother and father could not.
A blind woman saw him clearly than the two that had raised him.
Maybe the point, he wondered, was not to be better than the two before him, but just as good as his grandmother. She was probably insane, but she wasn’t nothing.
He rose out of his chair and walked to the kitchen to look his wife in the eyes for a long time, longer than he had for the past month or two. She looked sad (Sad! Why was she sad?) and even more exhausted than he was. It was time to do better, for both of their sakes. He was no Grinch or Scrooge. He was a man that could attempt to do more.
“Throw that turkey away. We’re going out tonight.”
This is a repost from a story I made, with more added to it. I liked this concept, and I wanted to expand upon it. Thank you for reading!!