anxious drinking

I’m drinking too fast tonight
trying to calm my nerves
that normally lie dormant

these two girls —
one tall, one short
like my friend and I —
come talk to us
in a room where
I’m paranoidly convinced
I’m somewhere I’m not welcome

the shorter one vaguely reminds me
of someone I loved in a past life
before I jumped off that ledge

she tells me I should dye my hair
platinum blonde
I say only if she dyes hers
blue
we fist-bump in agreement

we lose them and I stand
listening to the music and I keep
staring

staring

staring
staring at strings of lights along the ceiling
like they’ve got all the answers
to my problems, thinking how
earlier my friend and I
were drunkenly trying to figure out
how long those bulbs last
with their extra large filaments

do they last long lives unfulfilled
or just as long as any other bulb
leaving less light in this dark world?

the nerves that settled down are fighting again
and I lean back into the back seat of my brain
telling the quarreling siblings
to shut the fuck up.

and now I’m lost in the music
staring

staring

staring
staring at these lights again
and I’m so lost I get surprised when the music ends

we zip up our coats to leave
as I think at least I won’t be dying
my hair platinum blonde tonight

What I Love About Christmas

It’s that time of the year! The holidays have rolled in, and while it may be dark and chilly outside, the holiday spirits have kept homes bright and warm. The Salvation Army Red Kettles are out ringing their bells, the airwaves are filled with all sorts of caroling, and the malls are packed to the brim with last minute shoppers.

It’s kind of overstimulating to be honest; I hate crowds, and sometimes all the flashing lights and sounds can be a bit much. Despite this, I refuse to say bah humbug and instead focus on the parts I really love.

I love that it’s a time when I get to see more of my family. We all live in the same area, but we’re all so busy that we just never seem to see each other. But then Christmas hits and everyone’s getting along and laughing together as we’re all focused on right now rather than what’s left for later. Jokes are tossed across the room like lights on a newly christened Christmas tree and an extra sprinkle of wholesomeness fills the room just like the extra dash of love (it’s actually just more sugar) added to the Christmas cookies baked each year. 

Speaking of which, I love all the food. Gone is the day of Thanksgiving turkey and here comes the days of delectable Christmas ham with pineapples on top for extra flavor.
And of course, the aforementioned cookies, marching in flavors like peanut butter with chocolates on top, butterscotch, raw cookie dough that you’re not supposed to eat, and, my favorite, Mexican wedding cookies, which I was shocked to learn came from the white part of my family and not the Latino side.
This is all washed down with eggnog that tastes fantastic as long as you don’t think too much about the gross culmination of what is essentially half & half and eggs.

After a joyful Christmas Eve filled with family and overeating, I get ready and often times fail to get much sleep for my favorite part – Christmas day itself. It’s not because of the presents, but because of the fact that, on Christmas day, everything

Stops.

.

.

.

.

.

Do you hear that? It’s nothing. The shop lights have all gone out, leaving the business districts like ghost towns. The once-crowded streets are now seas of asphalt covered in slushy snow. A hush of quiet covers the town as everyone implicitly agrees to stay home and spend it in peace. It’s the one time of the year I can truly relax and settle in for a day of rest.

My only gripe is that I wish every day could be like this, but then again that wouldn’t make Christmas special anymore, would it? So put on some old Christmas music or just kick back and enjoy the silence. Whatever you do, I hope you have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!