feeling soapy


I’m trying hard to get into the mood for Christmas. It’s a gay old holiday and all, but it seems that it’s falling fast on the heels of Thanksgiving, which I didn’t quite adequately embrace, either. Our economy is in a tailspin. Buying loads of items feels like playing into the hands of Government. Argh. I’m not really down with that right now.  Not just because of the economy or the wars. I know that I have always fallen into the ‘haves’ category of American Life. I grew up wanting, yes, but never needing (I’m addressing the material, not emotional needs right now). And I’ve been able to manage all right as I’ve turned into an adult. I’ve had jobs that treat me poorly and pay  me less; I’ve lived off of the apples that serve as decor in fancy hotels; but those were experiences that have served the purpose of storytelling and a mild understanding of what it is to truly need. I’m very aware that my job could disappear at any moment. That’s just where we are right now as a nation. Globally.  I’m on the verge (I haven’t yet hired a hitman to slay me a lamb, but I think I’m still on the verge) of building my first home. I should be squirreling away money under my mattress, in the cookie jar, swallowed in a balloon to come out only when I need to put the down payment on my beloved ABC Carpet & Home sofa. Instead, I find myself going out to dinner with my sister and drinking a bottle of wine and connecting the way one hopes to connect with a sibling. Purchasing good vodka to infuse it with figs for Christmas presents. Giving all loose change and dollar bills to the guy ringing the bell for the Salvation Army. Figuring out a way to help pay for the orthodontia treatment of a kid horribly in need in my neck-of-the-woods. Let me state here and now that I do NOT believe in altruism. It’s something that I have studied deeply and have tried hard to understand. Can one give unselfishly? Me telling this small Internet audience that I’ve given a man standing on the corner holding a “Homeless” sign a sandwich and a buck seems drippy and unimportant. I’m doing it for myself.  Trying desperately to eek out some happiness in a world full of dark clouds. My own personal dark clouds. But, maybe, if we all try and be selfish and eek out some happiness by giving to and loving others, well, maybe the dark clouds will part. If  not for us, then maybe for those with weirdly crooked teeth who have no desire to smile. Or for someone who’s a little hungry. Or for a friend who wants talk and your time is everything. Barf. I strung up some lights tonight on my fireplace mantel. Hung some ornaments on the elk antlers that I bought from a crusty old farmer at the farmer’s market. I might just now be in the mood. Might.


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