On Christmas day, my peaceful sleep was disturbed by the joyous sounds of children remembering that there were presents downstairs that needed to be ripped open. I opened one eye, thanked God for my blackout curtains, and closed it again. Little did I know, I would drift in and out of sleep for the next couple of hours due to the sporadic vibrating of my phone (friendly texts wishing me a Merry Christmas). I heavily considered turning the power off on my phone, but my sleep was so relaxing that I didn’t care. But I was in a state where I couldn’t be arsed with dealing with anybody or anything. But then a phone call from a friend made me retract that feeling because I always had time for her.
I officially work up at 1:15 in the afternoon to speak to my friend about the issue that had been plaguing me for two days: my friend’s divorce. I explained the effect it had on me and why I so wished that their relationship could’ve worked (because I felt I would learn something by watching them). She listened to me and gave her opinion and very astutely came to the conclusion that “if the husband could step out of the relationship now, then things must not have been solid for a while.” She was right, in her own way. Yes, there were things that the couple needed to work on, and some things that they really needed to be honest about with one another. But my feelings are as follows: when it comes to the point of even considering divorce, the statement being made is “There is no way to fix this relationship. We have exhausted all possibilities.”
But if people are in love, how can you ever tire of it? I’m the first person who would say love isn’t enough, but I don’t understand how people can get tired of this feeling of supposed bliss…unless it was never love to begin with.
When I finished talking to my very observant friend, I decided to actually get out of bed and leave my room. So I did…to go downstairs to the kitchen. It may have been the afternoon, but any time is a good time for coffee. (Besides, coffee tends to clear my mind when I first wake up and can’t seem to think coherently) The day tended to go pretty much like this: me wandering aimlessly through an empty flat, wondering why I was totally ok with receiving no presents this year, while I’m sure the rest of London found themselves feasting unappreciatively with their relatives. The mere thought of relatives made me aware about the fact that mine were still an ocean away.
Therefore not only had I managed to think about divorce and love, but I’d also managed to fit my family into those thoughts. My day was turning out to be a melted marshmallow in hot chocolate. I needed release. Thank God (and Bill Gates, I guess?) for iTunes! I figured I’d download whatever was new, current, and danceable. Once I heard Dirty Money’s “Azz on the Floor” I put my feet on the floor and did some homemade cardio. But who knew that a little dancing could be dangerous.
I’d forgotten that I’d lit a candle on the table near my bedside. As I got up to dance, I’d somehow knocked my bedspread onto the open flame. It took 2 seconds for me to smell smoke, and I’d pulled back my spread to find a burn mark. Here I was trying to burn the dance floor and I almost managed to set my room on fire. I laughed at myself for being so clumsy, and then realized that I was actually having fun, alone, on Christmas day. Granted, that “almost-fire” was the only major excitement of the day, but it did jolt me away from the sadness that was beginning to creep into my heart.
And like all parents who feel the despair of their children, no matter how far away, my mother called me to wish me a Merry Christmas. Though a small gesture, it meant more than presents to me. And it was more than satisfactory knowing that she and the family were well.
Not long after, I cooked my humble dinner: boneless chicken breasts and roasted potatoes (with cheese). Then it was off to watch “Going the Distance” on iTunes because I heard it was decent movie (Yes, I went iTunes crazy on Christmas day).
About thirty minutes into the movie, my illusion of a silent Christmas day (where I could sit with my own thoughts) was broken. As I sat, looking quite disheveled in my pajamas and robe, my hair uncombed, the door to my flat opened and in walked my roommate with his family from Singapore. My eyes bulged as I realized that, even if I’d bolted up the stairs once I heard the keys jingling, there would be no way I could put on a decent pair of jeans or run a comb through this wooly crown of mine and make it down in time to greet the family. So I greeted them looking like a homeless person. And they didn’t seem too taken aback, as they smiled. But if they were anything like me, they’d be saying to themselves what I would say if I met someone for the first time and they looked a mess: “Damn.”
I finished my Christmas day watching the rest of the movie and preparing for the next day. I had two shows to do the next day, and unfortunately, one day off was not enough time to rest up. But I decided I would go into work feeling better than I did days prior because divorce was no longer on my mind, and all the holiday shenanigans and goings-on would be over. My energy wouldn’t be so concentrated all things pricey (but then again, my energy was never focused on gifts in the first place).
But before I drifted off to sleep and away from Jesus’ birthday, I began to think, what gift have I been given this Christmas that would outlast any gift I’ve ever received. I realized that I had been given love. From the small amount of texts that came through to the phone calls and even conversations on Skype (I forgot that at one point, I ended up on skype with a very good friend), I managed to get and give love on Christmas Day. Hell, it’s what the world really needs, isn’t it?