Oh Christmas Tree

Can’t stop thinking about shitty christmas ornaments. Specifically, ornaments made out of paper plates, elmer’s glue, and macaroni noodles. In my home town they put up a giant christmas tree on main street mid december, right in the middle of the road, just past the last big intersection before you run into the church. When I was a kid, back when the old catholic school was still standing, kids at the day care there used to make craft ornaments, and at some point the nuns would walk them down to the tree so they could hang them. I always made fun of them. They looked like shit; totally out of balance with the rest of the tree. Here’s this gigantic fur tree, wrapped from base to tip in glimmering electric lights, with a giant star on the top of it– and clustered around the bottom are all of these stupid, shitty, paper-plate ornaments that some mouth breathing kids hung up there. School’s been torn down for years now; all the nuns have been shipped off, and there haven’t been any shitty ornaments around the tree for quite some time now….so why do I secretly wish to see them every time I drive past when I’m visiting? The tree is nice and pure now, symmetric and elegant– so why is is suddenly so drab to me?

In the back of my closet I have a christmas present from my ex girlfriend, still wrapped. Actually, it’s just the box. I kept it for the tag she left on it, a simple one really: To Gabe, From Holly; written in black sharpe. It was the first gift she’d ever given anyone, as the whole christmas thing was something I introduced to her. I always found that tragic, since giving was always one of her main joys in life. Simple girl, I lament failing her, though just for my own sake– she’s better off now. Is it wrong to base one’s value on the happiness they bring others? I could make her happy from time to time, in fleeting bursts of triumph. Last year on her birthday, in fact, which is coming up shortly, I treated her to a fancy dinner– and the waitress even brought her a little birthday brownie, on the house, afterwards. If you could have seen the way she lit up…. But she liked to share things, and at best all I can do is take turns with them. It’s just not in my nature, and oh well to that. It took a toll on her, I think, and despite my fleeting triumphs, I think eventually she just had to open the doors of possibility, and wait for someone with a bit more of themselves to offer to come along. The routine demands, and failures on my part, were always draining…so why do I now secretly wish to have some of those almost unattainable responsibilities back? Why, now that my life seems to be where it should be, with a woman who seems to have been crafted just for me, does it suddenly feel so drab and dissipating?

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