|Fog rolling in to my front yard.|
I'm chugging along, minding my own business when wham, out of nowhere, comes black December. A month I despise.
It wasn't always like this. Or maybe it was. Every year, it just seems to get a little more bleak, a little more sad as it hoves around the corner and up the driveway and into my house. It's clever. Like a fog. It pours into the corners and stays there. Making faces. Reminding me. I used to drink my way through it. For many, many years now I've "done" it stark raving sober.
This time of the year I see an abused dog in a news story and I bawl my eyes out. That dog in Chicago shot by a policeman? Did my head in.
And babies, hurt babies. Have to jerk past the headline to avoid a catastrophic collapse of my emotions.
Even poor old pregnant Queen Kate in the hospital? Good for a five minute weep. I couldn't care two whigs for the monarchy, But a stranger's pain? Let the floodgates roll away.
My father died in a December. My closest friend of the time did also. In our family car. And worst of all, really, it's my estranged daughter's birthday. She was named for my dead friend. I don't know how many years she's been gone, I deliberately don't count them as the length of the chasm would probably astonish me. And make it worse.
Let me say it loud and clear. I don't like Christmas. I'm not in humbug status, just apathetic about everyone's jolly homes all posted on Facebook with the lights strung everywhere and this year it looks like pink and gold trees - whoa, nelly! - and last minute runs to Walmart for Chinese gifty tat. I like Solstice and would celebrate that in Toronto, but here there is nothing of secularism and paganism. That I can find anyway.
I've nowhere to run away to. One of my clan goes to Egypt every year to escape it. (I know, Egypt?!)
But he manages the annual Great Escape quite well. We discuss the ghosts of Christmas Past together. And there were many. And try to extract a modicum, a soupcon, of happiness out of it all. And can't.
A couple of bahs you might call us. And you're entitled. And chin up and chest out advisories? It just seems to make it worse.
So yeah, I'll let it flatten me like a steamroller.
And the one great cheering thought I have is that I know I am not alone..