It’s weeks after Thanksgiving and all the leftovers are finished and the stores are filled with toy hamsters and Wii and the sounds of Christmas. This was a particularly hard one for me this year, though a bit of family drama kept my mind preoccupied. As much as I love my family and all the dysfunction that comes along with our annual get-togethers, I wonder how it’s possible that no one passed around the memo to ixnay on the acsksonjay this year. I was assaulted from all sides. Aunts, cousins, uncles… Our breakup was a main topic of conversation at the dinner table and one I wasn’t particularly equipped to deal with. But bless my uncle and his free-flowing wine. I was able to give the abridged version of our split with zero emotion, fake smiles, and the false notion that I am in a really great place right now. I had to. It was that or cry into my pinot grigio and guacamole. I’m not sure, but I didn’t think anyone wanted to see that.
I miss him so much that it hurts. I thought about his family nonstop on Thanksgiving and have ever since, wondering how his grandparents are holding up, how big his niece now is, if his mother made her special stuffed mushrooms. I miss the way I fit in with his family. I had never experienced it with such ease ever before. They had embraced me and I learned to communicate with his Italian grandparents, their broken English hardly a barrier for me towards the end of our friendship. We were able to laugh and understand each other perfectly; it was as if we spoke the same language.
Jackson thinks I’ve completely forgotten about him. It’s all part of the plan, really. I’ve embraced the art of evasion and can resist the urge to call him about 10 times a day. It’s quite an improvement, actually. Somehow I’ve even managed to convince everyone that this breakup is the best thing for me, but inside I think it’s the only thing sustaining me. It’s the tie that connects us.
I have no idea what to do with all this alone time. I’m pretty sure I’ve lost some weight but the scale is low on batteries and I have no idea where the hell to find new ones because of course they’re not AA’s or something I would actually have stocked in the pantry. The alone time takes getting used to, but I’m trying. I read, I write, I sing and dance…I’ve contacted friends I’ve lost touch with over the years and am warming up to the idea of hitting up the bars and clubs (as much as a person with zero interest possibly can). I miss sharing the minutiae of my day with someone: the tiff I had at work or the nice encounter with a stranger on the PATH train. It’s not the same.
I’ve spoken with Jackson a few times since our split, and while our conversations have been pleasant, there’s an unspoken tension I’ve never felt with him before. It’s disconcerting. Though this was to be expected, I never realized what it would actually feel like and I hate the emptiness of our chats. How is it possible that just months ago he was my shoulder and my ear and now there’s nothing left for us to talk about? And I can’t bear to think about who else he’s hanging around these days. All that matters is that it’s not with me. I hate myself for not reaching out to him because we promised we would work on a friendship. It just seems impossible. I should really remove him from my FB friends, but that would mean I couldn’t cyber-stalk him any longer. I guess now that secret is out of the bag…
Today the storm of the season spreads a fresh blanket of white snow outside my apartment and I’m stuck inside, alone, with my computer. I used to love getting snowed in with him. It made preparing for the season so much fun and romantic. I am usually such a sucker for Christmas: the smells, the snow, the tree at Rockefeller. I can’t help but get swept up in the emotion of the holiday. Even though I hate the commercials of kisses beginning with Kay and fancy cars wrapped in red ribbon. I love everything else about Christmas. Nothing makes me happier than to decorate, send cards to family and friends near and far, and watch the Grinch and Charlie Brown.
The other night I tried getting into the holiday spirit and wrapped some gifts while Perry Como sang in the background. Instant waterworks. But I mean, really. Who thought of putting all these damn holidays in a row? As if Thanksgiving wasn’t bad enough, I have Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and Valentine’s Day to really dig the knife in. It’s just mean, is what it is.
There’s no enthusiasm for me this year. Much of it has to do with the fact that it’s a relatively simple affair for my family and we don’t have a lot of people to celebrate it with (my mother’s side of the family resides in Europe; my father’s side is Jewish) so I celebrate with my brother, mom, and dad (and our beloved Beagle). Which is lovely, but not unlike any other day of the year that the four of us (five, including our four-legged friend) get together. In a way I wish I could celebrate this one with the rest of my crazy family, if only for some funny distractions.