The Holidays

the drive seemed to be endless,
and my mother seemed to be lost.
in Norwich, on the northernmost edge
of our secluded world.
it was Christmas Eve,
and we were trying to find a holday party
that we were actually invited to.
a party with promises
of gifts- to fill the void
of tomorrows anticipated vacancy.

we eventually found the house,
and my mother pulled off an incredible parallel parking maneuver
in the snow and ice, on the slight hill.
it didn’t seem that we knew anyone at this party, uncomfortable
to the extent that even being given a
gift seemed like charity.
my mother prided herself in not giving in. on this night, it seemed as if we were.
it never happened again.

in town, there was a famous
Christmas Night party, which I was
now old enough to participate in.
i had just. enough. status.
to be invited.

the first guest I would encounter had an original screenplay in production.
in Hollywood.
that afternoon was the first time my step-father let me drink beer with him-
a conference with both elements of our families that
became a rallying cry between the two of us.
for the first time, we had an unspoken certainty,
that found it’s conclusion in his reassuring words:

“have another. you’ll be fine”

my father and his first roommate, after leaving home,
collected miller lite cans from the first sunday
of football season, until the holidays- their goal
was to decorate an entire tree in nothing but
miller lite cans
as part of a contest
for the brewing magnate.
they stole two shopping carts from the local supermarket
to store four months of empties,
before they were to deliberately hang each can
from a proper, ornament hook.

i had to be escorted out at 11.30 pm
from the party. beyond drunk ….
passed out on the “dance floor.”

i was thinking to myself, after a bleak sunrise-
“you have embarrassed everyone!”
there certainly were more elegant ways to leave a lasting impression.
but wasn’t that the point? to make a mark?

i would never be invited to the party again.
i could hardly blame them.

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