We got in a fight last night and it was terrible. Why do we get in fights about the stupidest things? Last time it was over a chocolate chip cookie. This time it was over a Christmas tree.
I took Graham downtown and walked around, looking at holiday displays in the store windows. I thought it would sooth my mind, but I didn’t see anything. I saw anger and hurt and frustration slamming me in the face. The warm rain only invigorated me, instead of cooling me down. It made me feel like steam, like exhaust, like the sidewalks around me were melting.
I came home and walked upstairs and sat on the bed. I closed my eyes and pictured plate tectonics. I saw converging plates, fault lines, fissures and cracks, sheets of rock. Maybe it’s how I felt inside. Jarred, cracked, a little sharp.
I walked downstairs and noticed how dirty the carpeting is. How does it get so dirty? We take our shoes off before we come in the house. Why are there black clumps of dirt everywhere? Then I remembered I have a dog.
I sat on the couch downstairs and looked at the red wall in front of me. I blinked at the mantel, covered in garland and white lights and the three stockings that hang over the fireplace. I closed my eyes and pictured home. I pictured my parent’s house, which I won’t see this holiday. I won’t be there to see the tree, usually fat at the bottom and bare in spots and always perfectly layered in large, colorful lights with presents packed underneath. I won’t be there to drink a glass (or two or three) of Baley’s in the living room with my Mom. I won’t eat cookies until I want to vomit and wake up with a sugar hangover. I won’t be there to sit in front of the fire at night and watch Home Alone, or The Christmas Story, or Christmas Vacation, or Rear Window, or To Catch a Thief or all of the above. I won’t see the snow and how it frosts the branches of the trees and hangs like confetti over lights outside. I won’t take walks at night to look at Christmas decorations and breathe the icy, cold air of winter.
I opened my eyes and I thought about Los Angeles, which is soon calling me, and the rain, which I love and the ocean so close I can almost see it from my window. And I felt really empty. The cracks and fissures inside me grew larger. And something sad poured in. And it’s strange because sometimes when I’m the saddest I feel the most alive. Maybe it’s because I know these moments have to happen, because the bad times wake you up to appreciate the good ones. I guess.