Today, I have a Tuesday Tune and then I’m gonna get all personal on you.
When people ask me what my favorite Christmas song is, I usually offer up the old carols. The songs I sang in accapella choir. The Boar’s Head Carol, the Coventry Carol, the Holly & the Ivy, Carol of the Bells… you know the stuff. The very old non-commercial stuff. I could tell you all about the Coventry Carol and Lady Godiva and some other stuff, but MEH. No one cares anymore. Everyone likes modern music. Madonna doing Santa Baby. That Mariah Carey song. Aaron Neville.
Don’t get me wrong. I like some of ’em too. Bing Crosby and David Bowie doing the Little Drummer Boy. But the truth of the matter is that in some ways I am a child of the 80’s still. The band that rose to such huge prominence and to this day retains as much respect for their politics as their music holds a place in my heart with their Christmas song.
Last year, I cried for hours. I just wanted Rott. I was so lonely without him. I was worried about him too up in the Sierras in the cold. I wanted things to be like they used to be. Of course, stupid me was thinking back several years instead of just one or two years. Our first Christmas together in Huntington Beach. The year we were homeless and he brought a tree to the motel on Christmas Eve. I missed just holding him and having him hold me. Last year felt so much like my first Christmas without my parents that I got a little drunk. Couldn’t take the pain.
This year he’s home and all the joy and love that I thought would be there isn’t. It’s been replaced by wariness, caution, fear, trust issues, and a host of the most painful emotions I’ve ever experienced. I’m beset with loss and the man is right there. Things may not be hopeless but at the moment my limboland is painful and painfully barren. I’m not alone like last year, but the loss of so many of my hopes has left me feeling raw and even more lonely than I was last year.
I laughed at myself a few days ago about getting what you wish for. All I could wish for last year was to have him home with me where I knew he was safe and where I could show him that I loved him. This year… I know he’s safe at least. And when he smiles, I can see it. And I know that all this churning emotion at least tells me that I am still alive inside this shell.
And even if we can’t yet cross the chasm between us, and may never be able to, I have those places I can go to in my heart where I can still feel the heat of those memories we made together. In my mind, Christmas will always be about that night we struggled to decorate a tree that filled a little room and how we laid together in the dark, holding hands, listening to midnight mass on the TV as the lights blinked on that dried out tree.
Sometimes, the best Christmas’s are the ones in your heart.