I should be making my beet salad and soldering on through these spreadsheets, but here I sit instead, parsing through albums I kept meaning to get to listening to from the big basket on the side of my desk: camille bloom is horrendous. kristen allen-zito is pleasant, and a bit haunted. there's more there than meets the eye. I can get that this year's wilco release is good but I can't quite get my arms around it. and the next one I pop in will be listened to only because I like the photo on the cover.
none of that is the point. the point is, the holidays are harder this year then they were last year. 2010 found me consumed with a Girl and Plans and all the Things you do together when you are Dating Someone During The Holidays. and I can see, especially of late, in all of my single-dom, why people date people they don't like and stay places where they know they ought not to. because it's a hell of a lot easier (on the surface, at least) to focus on that than it is to focus on some state of being uncomfortable or some Issue that is long overdue to be Dealt With.
so I'm single. whatev. and purposefully, I might add. it's not for a lack of love. but this purposeful aloneness, while great for the growth meter and the taking care of self and all that ish, tends to lend itself to early 2000's style Feeling All The Feelings -- you know, being in your twenties -- where every day was a workout and every show warranted six thousand words. and on top of the obvious parts that get sorted out around this time of the year, there are things I'm just not prepared for. like standing in the elevator at work just now, and these older guys get on to ride up with me and I'm hit with these horrible pangs of missing my father because one of them smells like him. vaguely. this christmas will be nine years since he passed away. some years, the anniversaries pass and they shred you to bits. some years, they put you back together. it seems as though this year is the former.
so there's that and there's bursting into tears listening to phone recordings of eef's shows and I've been noticing all this -- I get it -- and as a result, bolstering up the holiday ante: the inside of our house is draped with tiny lights we plan to leave up all year long, which is forever, because we've decided never not to live there. I've been running the charlie brown christmas movie in the background when I sort through emails after getting to work in the mornings. I've taken the few dollars I have that aren't paying down debt and bought little trinkets for friends from thrift stores and secondhand shops. the presents are stacked by the typewriter with care. I'm journaling and hydrating and taking my vitamins. and no matter what I do, try or say -- I still can't shake it.
I suppose this is the point where there is no walking around or getting over, there's just the going through -- and unlike the early 2000's emo-blogging, I have no metaphor or picture to wax poetic on the sad, no words for the grey skies holding hope or the laces of my shoes being the only things that are getting me through the through. it's much more like riding out a cold. I've grown up enough to know that I'll wake up, tomorrow or a week or a month from now, and it will all Feel Different. that these pangs aren't going to be here forever, just like the good times don't last forever either.
I'm happy. it's been a good year, and I'm not in some kind of self-imposed race for 2011 to end. major parts of my world have changed by leaps and bounds. I met almost all of my goals, and shit happened this year that I never would have imagined. I've got big aspirations for oh-twelve: there's good shows and times with friends on the horizon and I did the math yesterday and realized I'll be out of debt by 2013. that's not so bad. on top of all that, I'm excited to look at best-of photos and sit with the year for a spell, all the moments in front of stages, all the music that happened, the remember and the reflect and that sense of accomplishment and excitement. all these tangible measures of how Things Have Changed.
but as logically as I can look at all of that, there's still a tiny weight.
tonight we'll decorate some kind of christmas planting, because dead trees are silly and besides, nolan would probably shred anything we erect in the living room to absolute pieces. we'll do it because we haven't and because that's what people do this time of year. I don't know if it will make me cry more or less, but it worked for charlie brown. and there's it's a wonderful life on christmas eve, and I'll sort out orphan dinner on sunday, and then suddenly monday will be here and it all will have shifted, statistically.
in the meantime, here's to the rest and to all of what's next. to these icy patches in our minds and how we come out the other side, to the mixtapes borne of times like these and to all the pages and all the songs. and to remembering that nights spent alone, reflective under those tiny lights hanging in the house, are sometimes the best nights of all.