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Christmas Evening

It’s been a long day. I’m sitting in my room, tinkering on the computer. Victoria and Mama are watching a Lifetime movie in the den (kill me now). I don’t know what to do with myself, really, but will probably go in there and curl up beside Victoria and nap. That sounds like a plan.
I started to write because I wanted to report on the day, but now I feel kind of sleepy and the words just aren’t coming. Suffice it to say that I enjoyed Christmas breakfast with Mama, Victoria, Katie, Michelle and Ryan. It was fun to open presents. I won’t get into my angst about not being able to supply my loved ones with great gifts this year. I got some cool stuff. A fighting bo. A Blue Man Group DVD. A stunning two-volume retrospective on the life and work of Salvador Dali. But these were trinkets compared to the most wonderful gift of all; being in the company of most excellent and wonderful people, who have opened their lives to me and made me feel like I might actually belong somewhere again. Just being here was the most precious gift I could ask for. And, of course, I’m blessed to have another Christmas with Mama.
Lunch/Dinner was nice. Bruce (Victoria’s brother), his wife Mary, daughter Samantha, and mother-in-law Fay came over, as well as Victoria’s friend Jennifer and her son, Jason. We had a wonderful dinner. Everyone ate until they were stuffed, and then we all sat around and talked. Which is what you’re supposed to do at Christmas, I think. It was a little strange for me, I admit. I’m not used to doing the family thing at Christmas. I mean, Christmas has always just been me and Mama, and for some years Loretta and Tonya. Not a lot of people, in other words. But I think I commended myself well. Mama kept accusing me of being shy, but she was the one Victoria or I kept rounding up (because she had wandered off to some more socially comfortable position – like in another room by herself, or drifting just off the kitchen and out of the general melee). I admit that I’m not the most social of animals. That’s mostly because when I talk to someone for ten or fifteen minutes, they tend to realize that I’m a bit odd. So I watch what I say, and I seem “quiet” or “shy” because I don’t have the easy social graces. “How about those Buccaneers?” “How about that black hole that they just discovered that’s blasting matter into a nearby galaxy?” See what I mean?
After everyone left I hooked up Katie’s new X-Box to the entertainment system in the living room. That went well. I imagine there are worse ways to experience Halo 3 for the first time than on a 50″ plasma television and Bose surround-sound speaker system. Katie approved.
After the sun went down, Victoria, Mama and I drove around to check out the Christmas lights. We weren’t gone long. There wasn’t much to see. I’d noticed last week on the way up to get Mama that there just wasn’t a lot of Christmas decorations. Maybe the trend carried over here in Saint Petersburg? Either way, it didn’t take us long to get burned out and come back home. Since then we’ve all sort of wandered. Now Mama and Victoria are in the den watching television, and I’m in here typing away on my computer. Something seems wrong with that equation.
I don’t know if anything I’ve said here has made any sense. But that doesn’t matter. I’m tired and I just don’t care. I’ve had a nice day and a memorable Christmas. And while it may be true that we didn’t create anything worthy of the Waltons or Walt Disney, we still had a nice Christmas. It’s one I’ll remember and treasure. Soon we’ll be stumbling over into a new year and it will all begin again.
I’m so looking forward to that. I’ve been listless of late. I’m eager to bury this year and move on. Somehow I have a feeling that 2008 is going to be a good one. Mostly because I intend to make it a good one. Here I am. I’m in a good place, surrounded by good people. I have hope and a quiet resolve that I haven’t felt since I was young. I can’t explain it. I won’t try. But I know in my heart that good things are going to happen. I know that when I sit before my computer late on Christmas Day in 2008, I will be able to look back with some satisfaction at the progress I’ve made. I know this because I intend it. And I will not be denied.

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