It is that time of the year again. Nothing beats the Christmas season. Families are all gathered by a fireplace singing Christmas Carols. Of course, there is the one family member who thinks they have the best voice in all the land. Instead, they truly sound like a beaver being torn apart by an industrial chainsaw. We don’t tell them that they suck because that is the magic of the holidays. “Spreading that Christmas cheer” is on a motivational poster I hace hanging in my office. It even has a picture of the elf on the shelf with it. I am not sure how he landed that job being he looks like someone who should have a picture hanging up in a Post Office.
Baking and all the food becomes a tradition each year. Cookies and candy, no wonder obesity are up in America, wouldn’t you think that someone would leave The Big Guy a carrot instead of the traditional cookies and milk. Has anyone ever thought of the possibility that Santa may be lactose intolerant? Every year is the same, cookies…… Cookies….. Cookies. You would think after 100s of years on the job that a person would get tired of eating the same thing all the time. Not Santa. Plus, I cannot forget the fudge, or the gingerbread houses, or anything else that will raise the ole blood sugar levels to code red.
The Christmas spirit is something special. Some people only get it once in a blue moon. Those are the type of people that no one wants to be around unless there is rum in the eggnog. Then, there are those that go above and beyond the call of duty, and eat, sleep, breathe Christmas. Those are the ones that are sitting right now with a bundle of cats in an ugly sweater trying to get your house on a Christmas Light special on ABC. But every so often there is a person that will have the right amount of Christmas spirit. The amount os spirit that will rub off on people. They would be the type of person that when you see them coming, a smile appears on your face. This is true Christmas Spirit. I know of one person who always had that spirit. He even rescued a kidnaped Santa three years ago. I know what you are thinking, who gets kidnaped three years in a row? Before you ask that question, remember that when you are playing the 402nd Mario video game.
I want you to meet Richard! Each year this guy would get in the Christmas spirit earlier and earlier. You would almost have to say that he was the Black Friday of Christmas spirits, wait till next year boys and girls, Christmas trees will be on sale July 5th. His last few years have been really difficult. The one time of the year that would pull him out of his depression would be Christmas. He would put up his tree, with no theme. For all of you with OCD, you would freak out and have a panic attack. But it was him. Christmas has been never about having the best, or making things look better, it was about the spirit of the holiday. A sentiment that a lot of people have forgotten. However, this year was not the best. He went from a happy go lucky guy, too sad, depressed. He wasn’t the same. Something had destroyed his soul, his spirit.
This is his story, and by the time you are finished, you are going to realize that, It’s a Bizarre Life.
It was not a beautiful sight. All I would do anymore was sitting there in that recliner, not wearing any pants and drinking bottles of Kraken Rum. I am not sure what it is about being sad and not wearing pants that go together, but in this case, they are Besties. I didn’t care what was going on in the outside world. I secluded myself from everyone. There were nights; I would get so drunk, I would remind you of that one person that at the holiday party would wear the lampshade on their head. I would remove my pants and shout, “Release the Kraken!!” I know what you are thinking, and that mental image should be scared in your mind for the rest of your life. You are welcome. It was a bleak time for myself. I did try to recapture his Christmas spirit once, and on that faithful night it would all change forever.
“Look, Daddy. Teacher says, every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings.”
“Look, George, every time a bell rings, a fat guy in his living takes a shot. Screw you, George Bailey and your perfect damn life. Every year I watch you and every year I wonder why? If you would have just jumped off that damn bridge to begin with, I could save myself the sappy ending that follows. I am so sick of this season. Why is it that every blasted Christmas moving has to have a happy ending? Just once, I want a Christmas that ends with the appropriate ending. Loneliness and a bottle of booze. Hell, next year I think I am just randomly going out and tell people that they should live their life like it would be in Empire Strikes Back. Nothing ever ends up the way it should. The happy ending is a farce unless you know a really good massage parlor.”
We do not condone the use of sex to get over any troubles that may plague you during the holiday season.
I am the guy that rescued Santa, and I am could care less about Christmas. The season I once loved with all of his heart, the love is no longer there. I felt my heart grow two sizes too small. My friends would try to come cheer me up. Even that was not working. I remember when my friend, Jess showed up. The gesture I guess was nice, but why going outside would cheer me up. I want to stay this pasty white for the rest of the holidays. Just in case it did snow, I would have tremendous camouflage for paintball. Needless to say, I did not make Jess very happy with what I said to her.
“Why in the hell, do I have to leave the house? What good do you think that is actually going to do for me? I don’t want to see happy people inside a Wal-Mart. I am doing just fine. I have booze; I can order pizza, and I have basic cable. If you are not going to be happy for me, you can get the hell out of my life.”
It was getting to the point that nothing was going to cheer me up, and I knew it. I know people talk about hitting rock bottom all the time and clawing their way back out of it. Maybe, just maybe, I didn’t want to claw out from the bottom. I think it was time that I just gave up. I don’t see a change happening in my life anytime soon. It was at that moment that my best friend in the world would show up. I am always grateful for seeing my best friend, but it has been months since the last time I saw him. Our friendship went down the tubes for a while. It was due to my stupidity, but patching things up have been a small help. However, I didn’t want to see him at all. All he is going to do is to tell me to stop being sad. I get that enough from my therapist, my family, George Bailey. Seriously, who set this movie on repeat? One time a year is enough, but not we are at 3 in a row. Enough is enough. The doorbell sounds. Well, here comes my intervention! I need another shot.
I answer the door and standing there was a guy who sort of looked like my friend but skinny. I knew it; Chris’s car got stuck in the snow for days and the people who were riding with him ate him. Maybe, they cut open his belly to stay warm during the stuck time.
“You know dumbass, I can hear you, right? Are you saying that I was a big as Tauntaun? Bitch, Please!” Chris said to me. I looked at him, puzzled. I think I was more confused that he was channeling his inner Madea or Drag Queen.
“Look, I know why you are here. Just get on with it.” I say, hoping that this will not take long at all, seeing that I had things to do. Like drinking and be depressed. Because that is what the holiday season is all about, am I right?
“First of all, I want you to know that all of us are worried about you. This is not you. I know this is not you. We are tired of seeing you like this. You are a shell of your former self. No one likes to see this. You have not been out of the house in months. You have not called anyone or checked your email. You went from someone that couldn’t shut up until someone that is scaring us. We do not like it that you have gone quiet all of a sudden…. What in the hell is that?” Chris looks at me puzzled.
Chris was pacing when he was saying all of this to me, I knew at the beginning that I deserve him delivering the speech to me in this magnitude because of the one time I burnt my hand with a match to get my point that scars heal over time. Now that I say that, maybe he should have just went with that approach. I knew where his eyes went. I didn’t know how I was going to explain myself. I could lie to get out of this, but he wouldn’t buy it.
“Why do you have a bottle of hydrocodone sitting next to the bottle of liquor?” Chris exclaimed.
At that moment, I couldn’t say a word. I was froze in place, I knew Elsa would not help me right now. I just looked down at my feet and never looked up.
“Are you freaking serious man?” Chris asked. “This was your way out wasn’t it? I know you have been going through a lot, but seriously. I am glad I brought someone to help me. But you need to explain yourself right now!”
All I could do is stand there in silence. I couldn’t say a word. I am not sure if it was the fact that I was ashamed or the fact this is all lining up with George Bailey. Again, making me not like the guy even more. I go to walk away for a minute because it was all I could actually think about doing that moment. Chris walks up behind me, grabs my arm….
“Please tell me why. I am your friend, no… We are like your brothers. I think you owe me an explanation as to why, you would think that this was the best solution to your problem.”
I was holding onto my glass that had rum on the rocks in it. I felt that moment where it all started to boil up over the top. The glass goes flying across the room, shattering into a thousand pieces. I slowly turn to Chris, and the burden I have been carrying started to come out in word form.
“Every year, I get all excited about Christmas. It is the most wonderful time of the year, and you know what, every year I keep getting shit on. In the past 5 years alone, I have had to deal with shit, that I am not sure, how to handle. I was always told that God would not put more on you than you can handle, well, the load, I have not been able to handle over 3 years. And instead of making things somewhat easier, it keeps getting worse. I am not going to be able to live a normal life, unless, I have a surgery that can leave me paralyzed. Do you know how in the hell, that is supposed to make someone feel. I am not sure that at any moment, I could go into a seizure. You know who would be there if I did? Not a damn soul. Want to know why, cause the people who tell me they want in my life, say they can deal with it, when in all honesty, they are lying out of their ass. I had to put my mother in a nursing home. I have been divorced. Homeless more times than I count. A person is always told that if you get knocked back down that you have to get back up, how many times do you have to do that before you realize there is no getting back up? I am done letting God pile the weight on. He can pile it on someone else.”
Chris looks at me. A confused look in his eye. “Brother, we love you. It is going to get bet…….”
“Let me stop you right there. It is going to get better is the biggest line of bullshit, which anyone can feed another human being. Five years, of being told it is going to get better. Five damn years of the same speech and what? Has it got any better? I think it just slides down the hill even more. I don’t care anymore. Living is now the burden……”
All of a sudden the lights started to flicker inside the house. I felt like I was in a horror movie, and the only thing missing was a man in a hockey mask. A giant flash of light came from outside the front window. The door flew wide open. I am pissed that my door was opened, but it was also the first time that my lungs have tasted fresh air in months. My body was in shock. A figure appeared in the door frame. He was a bigger man, a little chunky; I take that back… A lot chunky.
“I told you I enlisted some help.”
The figure emerged from the shadows.
“HO! HO! HOLY CRAP!!!!” I exclaimed.
Stay Tuned For Part 2 of It’s A Bizarre Life during The 13 Days Of Christmas.