In my observation, this is a strange place.
I haven’t been in the Christmas spirit. In all honesty, I’ve had no fucks to give. I work too much, enjoy life too little, and have enough stress to put in all the stockings across the country.
I anticipated an unfortunate event this Christmas season (Monday) when, on Saturday:
- I reached for my daily anti-depressant. I’m out.
- I called the pharmacy for a refill. They’re out.
- I received a message from the pharmacy. I’ve used up all my refills; my order can’t be sent elsewhere.
- I prepare for wicked withdrawals that make my brain chemistry fucking crazy. It’s okay. I’ve done this before.
- I cry and hide in my bed. This isn’t going to go well, and it’s going to hurt a lot. Merry Christmas.
I wake up to a note on my computer, which I fell asleep next to as I watched some silly Netflix show in anticipation of the coming events. I knew I’d be unwell. It’s a terrible feeling to feel good and have that all taken away when the pharmacy isn’t able to oblige. Fortunately, this isn’t the first time, and I know what I’m in for.
I’m dizzy, unable to think, and filled with tears for no reason. The note simply says one thing:
“I haven’t forgotten about you. I’m right here.”
My naked self stumbles to the bathroom. We live in a concrete shoebox; everything is within stumbling distance. I smell food. I don’t know what kind of food, but it’s food.
Pee. Back to sleep. Blankets securely placed over my body in such a position an intruder would simply think the bed was well made while the inhabitants of our condo were out enjoying the holiday. Head covered. Body immobile. Brain swimming.
I smell coffee. What’s that food I smell?
I move… as best I can. Back to sleep. I awake to a gentle backrub and a beautiful man telling me he’s prepared my Christmas dinner. Here’s my coffee. He refilled my water glass with fresh ice and that filtered goodness that’s so cold, yet so welcomed to my fragile body.
Since then, he’s gone off to the homeless shelter to make food for the needy. Apparently, he’s on cornbread and beans. He’s putting his cooking skills and Southern style to work this Christmas.
He asked me if he should cancel. No! Do not cancel!
He asked me if I’d like to go. I would love to. But I cannot. I cannot move.
He asked me if he should stay here. No! Others need you more than I do.
My heart is filled with happiness. Would any man spend his Christmas making food for others when he hates being “a cook”? Absolutely not. I’m proud. I’m blessed. I’m thankful. I will happily spend this Christmas alone, busily writing about data security breaches and marketing whatnots so my family can be embraced in the blessings we have that others do not.
As I began walking around, I had a memory-in-passing. Didn’t I see a sample pack of my anti-depressants as I was packing for last week’s vacation? I did! I found two three-year-old sample pills — twice my current prescription — hiding in my suitcase.
I’ve cut them in half and taken one. My brain has balanced. My heart has filled. My kitchen has accumulated an amazing amount of ready-to-eat homemade food while my Other is away.
And I’m watching shitty daytime TV. I heart shitty daytime TV.
My Other is busy making life better for those less fortunate. I’m busy basking in the blessings that are my life.
I don’t do religion. But I do do gratitude. And I am very grateful for the person who has taken every effort to take care of me — and anyone else he doesn’t even know — this Christmas day.