Christmas is about family. Christmas is about being alone. Christmas is about gifts, and food, and handjobs and blowjobs and an uncle who is too drunk, and a friend who is too drunk, and the heat in one country and the blistering cold in another country and a shared moon that kind of hangs over everything: it hides in some cities, it’s gone in some cities, it watches you over the rest. Christmas is about hopeful films, of Mariah Carey’s song and not Mariah Carey’s story; it’s about that girl I fingered, it’s about that girl I didn’t finger, it’s about Santa and cookies and letters to Santa and photos of Santa and of midnight mass, it’s about a lonely woman, a lonely man, a jealous boyfriend, immigration, suffering refugees, ISIS, Muslims, Jews, transgenders, lesbians, queers, fags, homophobes, feminists, emos, hipsters, dickheads, bankers, cunts, bums; Christmas is about advertising and late night shopping and that huge rush to buy presents for mum and dad and stepmum and stepdad and cousins and friends and bosses and that chick you’re cheating with, its about Christmas ham, it’s about last minute shopping, it’s about the birth of Jesus Christ our saviour, it’s about snorting a dab of cocaine off the tip of some Indian guy’s cock and it’s about falling asleep too early; it’s about thinking about Africa, or that fucked up thing you did two years ago, or just the other week, or about that homeless guy you saw under the bridge. Christmas is about my suffering, not yours. It’s about that selfie she took that made sure to reveal her tits. It’s about the fortunate and the less fortunate and the sad and the happy and the people so far removed from the world that they don’t even know who they are. Do you know who you are? Christmas is about tears and laughter and all of that bullshit, it’s about that time I met a Princess and it’s about the time I kissed her in my car and it’s about the sweat and my red shirt and it’s about that time I opened your present and you took a photo of me opening your present, and it’s about that Snapchat I sent you, and it’s about that look you gave me, and it’s about that first time I asked you if you were wet and you said no, and it’s about that first time I yelled at you, and it’s about that time you made that promise that only I remember, and it’s about that time I was completely sober and I opened the door and I thought about nothing, and I grew up, and I evolved, and the world, time – it was universal, and as some sombre song by Adele played in the background things and people… everything changed but everything, deep down, was still kind of the same, and Frosty the snowman got fucked up and a dead John Lennon hums “so this is Christmas” in the dark while Martha, a woman who I have never met, has a long debate with her partner about whether or not they should attend midnight mass.
I know I always say this, but I’m sorry I haven’t written in a long time. I prefer writing more than typing, but it just takes a lot of effort to literally write a letter, you know? I actually tried writing something to you a few weeks ago, but I couldn’t think of anything important to say. All I could think of was surface chit chat shit like “how are you?” and “I’ve been fine, life has been lovely, the sky is blue” and all of that bullshit. But you know me better than that. We weren’t born into this world to waste each other’s time. We were supposed to add value to each other’s lives. Wouldn’t it be great if we were all like that? If we could walk up to anyone and actually say what we want to say? Imagine if we weren’t rejected or hurt in the past, and we had the confidence to simply say what we wanted to, to who we wanted to. There’s this man I watch from the distance every so often. He has dirty brown boots and his hair is a world of worry, and he walks with a limp when nobody’s looking. I don’t care what he thinks of the weather and I don’t care if he watches the news… all I want to do is walk up to him and tell him that I hate him and I love him and make love to him.
It’s Christmas soon, and I’m going to spend it with my thoughts. I cry sometimes, but only sometimes. You have to understand that Christmas in real life isn’t like Christmas in the movies. In real life, when shit happens, things don’t instantly get better like it does in the movies. Your prayers won’t get answered. You won’t get rescued, you won’t get that miraculous phone call from someone who will tell you that life is worth living. You won’t heal. The people who left you won’t come back. That beautiful stranger won’t suddenly appear and magically fill that void in your heart. You won’t get those ghosts who teach you that you’re supposed to be grateful for what you have. You’ll get nothing, and the pain will only get worse.
But sometimes I think it’s a good thing. Sometimes I think it’s good that it’s not exactly like the movies. If things were like the movies, you won’t grow. You won’t toughen the fuck up. You’ll remain the same while everyone else moves forward. Sometimes the sky simply has to rain shit on you, and shit on you, and shit on you, and sometimes you need to quit cowering in that little corner you made for yourself, and you need to stop blaming everyone who hurt you and actually learn to dig yourself out of whatever you’re being buried in. Because when you do, you’ll be more ready when it rains all over again.
I bought a green dress the other day, a summer one that shifts easily with the breeze. I took photos with my old camera (remember the one with the red sticker?) and I went to the shops and printed them, and I spread the photos out on my bed and I spent a day just eating and looking at them. I don’t want you to think that I simply left all thoughts of you guys behind. I think about how I hurt you, and I think about the times when we all hurt each other. I know you think about those painful times too. But what can be done? If I returned, and I looked at you, I don’t know what I’d do. All I know is I’d recognise you from the distance, and I’m sure that besides a few new creases besides your eyes, you’d mainly look the same. We’d smile at each other, and hug, and pretend that I didn’t do what I did, and we’d talk, and then I’d tell you that I’m sorry, and you would tell me that you had someone else to meet, and I’d tell you to take care and I’d quickly whisper that I’m so proud of everything you’d done.
I know my life as a painter is over. So nowadays I just fantasise about what I want to paint: the other day I thought of a bunch of flowers growing out of a wall, and once in a while, these kids, they’d be dressed like Peter Pan, and they’d pick the flowers and put them on everything we didn’t know we could put flowers on: the sky, water, sand, eyes. I’d be one of those flowers, and I’d sprout, and my leaves would wither away, and I’d be born again somewhere else, and I would find you between space and time.