December 24, 2009 by jamesessj
I’m not used to spending Christmas alone — for many years I always managed to make it home for Christmas, or at least to my younger brother’s, and so was always with family. Then, in more recent years, I’ve spent Christmas with my partner-at-the-time — as family as family gets, for a gay guy. Last year, I spent Christmas…well, let’s not get into that. Let sleeping reindeer lie.
This year? I had thought I’d be spending the first Christmas of my life completely alone — but instead I’ll be going over to a friend’s, one of those for-folks-who-have-nowhere-else-to-go sorts of affairs. It won’t be Christmas yore; but it will be Christmas, my favorite holiday, the ultimate triumph of hope over experience.
This has been an odd year — and I’m someone whose every year is odd. Or maybe everyone’s every year is odd, I haven’t lived anyone else’s life, so how would I know? But where I am now is certainly not where I thought I’d be at the beginning of the year — and I suspect come 12/24/2010, I’ll be in some equally curious and mystifying place. As I had a character say in a story once, “Life throws you curves, and nobody makes it in the big leagues if they can’t hit a curve ball.” I often feel as if I’m standing in the batter’s box watching pitch after pitch sail by…wondering when the ump’s just gonna call me out on strikes, already. But in this past year I do feel as if I’ve at least managed to get the bat off my shoulder — not that I’ve taken a swing, mind you, much less made contact, much less gotten a hit, much less smacked a home run…but we take these things one step at a time, because you can’t take a second step, by definition, without taking a first.
My favorite Christmas song (though I’m hardly alone in this) is “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.” The Golden Gate Men’s Chorus, with whom my ex, Alan, sings, always performs this as the big finale for their Christmas concert — and Alan himself sang it to me, in the park by the Metreon, on a cold December night in 2004, only a few days after we met. It’s a memory I’ll take to my grave — a good memory, which I wish was the only kind of memory there was.
Merry Little Christmases, all.