This is a story with beautiful memories and some sad moments.
It is about me.
About how I can be, at times, carried away by my emotions and become a fucking asshole.
This story is sadly a true one. It started late this Xmas Eve and ended in the early morning of the next day.
As a matter of a fact it began much earlier.
It started when I was a little boy.
Those Christmases, in my recollection, seemed all white ones.
With my parents I spend them at my grandparents, mother’s side. I guess what I remember are probably just memories that over time have been embellished with a golden patina.
Each Xmas we watched ‘White Christmas’ with Bing Cosby on Nana’s and Baba’s black ‘n white television. The set took ages to warm up before it could generate an image.
In the early morning I woke up in my room upstairs and it was always freezing cold. At night, before falling at sleep I would stare at the television antenna fixed against the ceiling. When the cool blue light of the moon visited my room the metal construction would cast weird shadows fecundating my fantasy.
In the morning I would go to the next room and crawl up between my parents in their warm bed before washing my face with cold water. My grandparents did not have central heating and I don’t think many had at that time.
On those Christmas mornings though I would be revved up with a mix of adrenaline and anticipation. The stocking, flat and empty the evening before now filled with candy and small presents waiting to be savored or opened.
In the living room it would be warm. The stove filled with coal would be buzzing and yellow flames lick against the small mica windows.
All these presents under a magnificent decorated tree and I was not allowed to open them till after dinner.
So I played outside, in the snow, maybe with my father or my grandfather and there would be hot chocolate afterwards.
What I remember very clearly, while I am writing this, is the love, the togetherness. The warmth and the save haven of a family. Of course the astonishment as only a kid can feel, can experience. But it is mostly the warmth and love I miss the most.
Later on, after my sister was born Xmas was at my parent’s place and the tree would stand next to the open fireplace. Magnificent as ever.
We would dine at Christmas evening. My mother was an excellent cook.
Yes, love, warmth, oneness, being a part of a circle of trust, hell I do miss that so much.
It all changed when my father died in 1972 and in the following next 10 years I would have to say farewell to Nana and to Baba too. At times live really does suck.
I lost Christmas too as it would never ever be the same anymore.
I stayed behind, craving and yearning for what was lost hoping one day I would find it again.
Mid eighties my sister outed herself driving my mom almost nuts with shame and for years to come she was persona non grata. No fertile ground for intimate family moments let alone for Xmas.
During the 16 years I was married Christmas Eve was spend with my ex-wife’s parents in Brussels.
I hated every single one of them.
Too much people, all Sicilians, screaming and yelling to get attention and I did not understand a word of what they said. And if one of them took the effort to address me in French he, or she, could as well have spoken Cuneiform or whatever, their accent was dreadful.
The food was awful and the noise they all made was enveloped by the sound the TV-set, some loud Italian show they received by satellite. There was nobody I could relate to, or talk with and without sounding presumptuous the social difference between them and me was a gap as huge as the Grand Canyon.
The gifts were all (much) more is better and I was never ever surprised with something original or useful. They gave to give.
Of course I asked my former wife if it would be possible to spend Xmas eve just with the two of us, later on the three of us and even later, when our marriage was already dying, the four of us.
It never happened of course, the Sicilian family way of doing things did not tolerate such.
We, the mother of my daughters and I agreed, during the divorce act, the girls would be with me on New Year as, dixit Ex, I did not like Xmas and so was not able to provide a fun evening for them.
After that divorce I was alone for a few years. There was a relation but the two Holidays we spend together were, understandably, no joyful moments as the treatment for breast cancer threw a shadow on everything.
After that I was alone again. No, she did not die but after the treatment was finished she had seen death in the eye and had decided she would give all her time to her son and I was told to fuck off.
Which I did.
Then I met Princess and our first Xmas, 3 months later, everything was to new to spend this together. Princess had broken up with me a few days earlier and it had come as a total surprise although it was the second time already. She said no and after a few days I do again. I remember it had devastated and hurt me deeply as at that time I was already madly in love with the Princess.
Yet I am hopeful and I know I will be able to experience an unforgettable Christmas evening with Princess. There are some hurdles to take though.
December 24, 2013.
At work a few colleagues ask me for my plans.
None, I answer. Princess will spend it with her kids and her late ex-husbands parents.
Yes, I know, we are 2+ years together but that is the way it is.
I am not invited because her kids do no want me in their lives.
They look at me in a strange way, maybe with sympathy and then leave and drive to their families.
We are allowed to leave at 3 at Christmas Eve but there must be someone reachable. I volunteered, hell, there is no wife or family waiting for me. Not this evening.
My co-workers appreciate my gesture and leave for an evening of warmth and love. Well, I sure hope it is that way for them.
Later on I arrive at home, a cold and dark place. No tree, why should I take the trouble?
Later on I hear in the apartment below a party going on and I am alone watching “True Romance”, a Tony Scott movie written by Tarentino. True Romance is about true and deep and unconditional love, the kind Princess and I have.
It gets late. No text message from Princess, no sign of life. No I miss you, Wish you where here or so.
The party keeps going on beneath my feet and then it hits me as a sledgehammer.
Big A. is out with her boyfriend.
Little A. and her mom and boyfriend, and his daughter, are in a restaurant.
Princess is with her family.
And here I am.
Still alone and as things are going no chance to spend Xmas evening with Princess, her kids still despise me and that is not going to change soon.
No text message from Princess and I am getting turned up more and more. Angriness creeps in.
I know she had planned to spend the night at my place but it will be late and it is only possible because Stella has to work the next morning. Basically Princess is driving her eldest daughter home and my place, my bed is just a great bonus for her.
Finally I text Princess and she answers me.
Then, at 00:50 am on Xmas morning she texts me she is on her way.
I am now completely taken over by emotions I do not want to feel.
So much anger, frustration and incomprehension fill my heart and mind.
I do not want to see her in this state so I text her I think it is better for her to sleep in her own bed.
We, well, I argue.
Then I open a bottle of wine and drink it on an empty stomach.
I get drunk. Terribly wasted.
Fuck I hate so much being drunk. At the end of her life my mom had a bottle, sometimes two, of port every single day. The woman I was with, the one who suffered breast cancer, was an alcoholic.
Phoned Princess back and start throwing with mud.
Breaking up, ordering her over to get her stuff twenty or so times she told me later on.
Princess came over yesterday evening. She cried and it broke my heart. We talked and made up. I cooked her dinner and then we exchanged presents and later on we fucked our brains out.
We did the same this morning. We have no brains left anymore.
This afternoon I went to the movies with Little A. and I tried to be cheerful for her sake but I feel so sad, so abashed and I want to hold Princess in my arms. To make sure all is well, to be sure all is as it was.
I won’t be seeing her before Saturday evening though and I yearn to kiss her and tell her how much I love her and how my life would end if she would not be there anymore. You know what I mean, Princess, when you said what you said a few days ago in the car and I cried.
Princess, I love you with all my heart and soul. I am so sorry for what I said for I did not mean it but yet the words have been spoken. Cannot be taken back.
Forgive me please.
I ask you as I know you can, you have this power of magic in you, the warmth, the love, the caring.
Please let me have once again a Christmas like the ones I remember when I was a child. For decades I am longing for that special feeling I once used to know. And lost.
Longing to find it again.
Family and loved ones, a circle of trust.