How was everyone’s Christmas/Hanukah/Yuletide/Solstice?
My winter holiday has been contradictory.
The Best Of List would go like this:
- My iPad. This thing is awesome. I named him Joker. His adoptive brothers are my laptop, Sherlock, and my iPod, Mephisto. Yes I name my electronics. I’ll be getting an iPhone in a few months and its name at the moment is reserved as Kefka. I love Apple…except their computers.
- My Merrell Barefoot shoes. I love running around barefoot but I’m too self-conscious right now to buy a pair of Vibrams. Merrells are great though.
- New haircut/highlights. I got my hair highlighted years ago but couldn’t see the highlights. Wha? No way I’m paying for something I can’t see. So I told my stylist, “No stripper highlights, but I want to see them.”
- New manicure obsession. Crackle nail polish. Addicted. Let’s move on.
- Deep tissue massage. Oh, how I’ve missed you.
- Facial. Oh how I’ve needed you.
- Serendipity. I got locked out of my house one night. I didn’t have a key and my parents were at the Messiah. So I toddled down to my favorite coffee shop, Antidote, and reacquainted myself with their Cajeta latte. I also took the time to start studying German, to prepare for my class. I’m even more in love with this language than before!
- My sister. It’s so weird how she’s grown up. We must have watched 20 different horror movies. My favorite was Tucker and Dale Versus Evil. SEE IT!
- Hachi: A Dog’s Tale. To quote my favorite policeman, Inspector Javert, “My heart is stone, and still it trembles!” I don’t cry at movies. This film had me and my sister sitting there with tears streaming down our faces. It was so good though, and based on a true story. SEE IT!
It may seem like my holiday has been full of jollies. It’s always nice to be home, but not all was merry. My grandmother was in the final stages of her life when I arrived home. The day before I left, she died.
I’m weird when it comes to death. When my dogs die I go into keening fits. When people die, I shrug and move on. Except one. I cried some when Heath Ledger died.
It’s not that I don’t care. It’s just death in and of itself doesn’t really bother me when it’s expected. When life’s run its course, it’s over. An atheist friend and I used to wonder why it is people flip out at the thought of oblivion. It’s nice to believe there’s something after death — heaven, reincarnation (my personal fav), or Valhalla. But one wouldn’t be aware of oblivion, so it’s kind of moot.
I understand why most people are sad, I just don’t get that way. Memories don’t make me mournful; they make me happy because they were of times before my grandmother had Alzheimer’s, back when she was a feisty lady.
You didn’t piss off Gaga or she’d smack you, call you a baby for crying over it, then finally apologize…maybe. But she was kind too. My grandparents’ house was my only place of true calm during my parents’ divorce. It’s not anymore. For the last few years the house has reeked of decay.
I was trying to explain to my mom why I’m less grieved. She said it was because I was young and thus never really felt the closeness of death.
Heh. Wrong. Not that I’d tell her that.
In high school I was on a vacation at my stepdad’s mother’s farm in Pennsylvania. The neighbors had four-wheelers and took me and my sister out for a ride.
All was well, until we drove along an incline. Suddenly my four wheeler flipped and I rolled down the hill. I was aware the whole time — a branch whipping across my face, the vertigo of inversion, and the snap decision not to bail for fear the ATV would slam me down due to gravity. The worst was the very end. It landed on my head. I stared up at the handlebars, my neck yowling in pain, wondering why it wasn’t crushing my skull. Then I remembered I was wearing a helmet.
As I scrambled to my feet, one girl I was with started screeching about my face. I seriously thought I’d ripped it in half; it was numb and my hand came back covered in blood. In reality, it was just my nose that was gushing.
We told my parents I’d bailed just as it flipped and I’d faceplanted into the ground. I was sore for weeks — I’d gotten a black eye, a broken nose, and was hobbling like an arthritic hound dog. Technically, my nose was just messed up, then my sister fully broke it when we got into a bitch fight the day after. C’est la vie.
I was reading A Farewell to Arms while recuperating. I’m pretty sure my physical discomfort played a part in my loathing of that book. Or maybe it’s just Hemingway.
I’m pretty sure my parents eventually figured out the truth of it. But I don’t think they ever realized I was several inches of plastic away from snapping my neck.
I was thinking back to that day a lot over Christmas break. And thinking of some of my best memories of her.
Gaga liked to pull together a big shebang for Easter. When I was a tot, Easter was just as cool as Christmas and Halloween because of egg hunts and baskets overflowing with gifts and candy. We’d go to church as a family, come back to her house and have lunch, and spend the day enjoying company.
Her backyard was awesome. My cousin and I would swordfight. I’d accidentally hit his knuckles and he’d cry, so I’d call him a pansy. She would coddle him, send him off back to the house, then roll her eyes at me and say he was a big crybaby. My cos is a quarterback now so I like to think I toughened him up.
She wasn’t big on baking if it wasn’t a mix. But we did make meatloaf together. She was a good cook but she was never above popping in fish sticks. My grandfather’s specialty was cream of wheat — he and I would eat it but Gaga would grimace. I think she was lactose intolerant.
My grandma wasn’t perfect. She never believed me when I said “That sucks!” meant something other than fellatio. She wasn’t one for cuddly grandma-isms. She did like to make people breakfast in bed…but mostly because she hated anyone moseying around in her kitchen in the morning. Beyond everything else, she was the boss.
There is a lot of family carnage surrounding her sickness and passing, stuff I won’t go into. It’s stuff I don’t entangle myself in anyway.
I consider myself quite grown out of my emo stage. Still, death was on my mind a lot as I headed back to school. Like I said, natural death doesn’t really bother me. But at the same time, I can’t help but think of a line from Game of Thrones:
“What do we say to the god of death? Not today.“
Some day in the future I’ll kick the bucket. Hopefully while defending a litter of German shepherds from a bear or leading the resistance during an alien invasion.
Until then, I have things to learn, adventures to have, and video games to play. I still need to get famous and do something cool. And oh, it seems Shakespeare agrees with me:
“Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,
It seems to me most strange that men should fear;
Seeing that death, a necessary end,
Will come when it will come.”
So as I go into my final semester of college, I’m grateful. I know tons of wonderful people. I have a trip to Rome and Naples this summer. I have the exciting adventure of a job hunt. There’s a vast span of opportunity in front of me and the only enemy is my motivation.