On Sunday Ideal Brown and I went to go and get a Christmas tree. We're not going to be around for Christmas- or New Year for that matter, but why not drag an arm of nature into the house and festoon it with bright shiny breakables for the days dotted around the two holidays?
Indeed, they'll be the ones on which I can say what I think, control the TV remote and above all, not have to agree with things I don't believe in for the sake of saving myself a petty discussion that will just shorten my life. That's what Christmas is about, isn't it? Being stuck somewhere.
I mean, I always love the people I'm stuck with (sort of) and for the most part I really enjoy it- but I am stuck and every year I do wish my company into oblivion. I'd wish myself into oblivion, but then who would feed the cats? Come on.
There's a loft alcove that we call "The Hole" which is allocated "for shit". Example "I just went into The Hole to get the Christmas garb. You can do it next time. I've had it. Jesus Christ, there's so much shit in there."
When we were at the tree shop (a rugby club that had sold space to a couple of guys selling felled Nordman firs) I hooted "Ooh, this will be Little's First Christmas".
I say these things because I'm
a) gently mocking new parents and
b) because I've realised that we have a bag of "unknown reactions" to discover when we introduce our kitten to a vast thing peppered with dangling bits. Above all there's reason
c) and that is: I like to press the ceremonial underwhelming with a trite announcement that nobody gives a fuck about. Not me. Not Ideal Brown. Not the cats.
We didn't actually call our cat Little. It's just that we already have a cat and given that he's older, he's also bigger than her and on top of that she's really small, so often I just find myself saying "where's Little?" or "I've fed Little" or "have you seen Little? Big's upstairs, but I can't find Little."
Big's real name is Stanley, a name that has since been butchered thusly: Stanley> Stan> Tan> Tanny-Tan> Stink> Spotty Back and bird (for when he sits on the floor because he looks like you could put him on a pond surface on which he would float, duck-like)
Little is actually Brodie.
This is all to say that when the Christmas tree was torn asunder (not really - it was just knocked over) I figured we were partly deserving of it.
Ideal Brown flew into a rage "Fuckit, I know it was Little! Right. Right! Get her. Right LITTLE!" He says "right" a lot when he's losing control, which is funny because I think it means he's grappling for some and it's not aaaaaaactually the thing you say when you're slipping.
I wouldn't actually tell him this, but I was so glad the tree fell over. I've been verging on losing my shit for the last few days. When the tiny things that I can't control mount up, they all just chip away at the ol' mental demeanor and I start to crack. A tree on its side isn't cancer or divorce or a choked bank account.
Indeed, it was the best fuck up for me to take on given the simplicity of the situation: if something falls over, you can set it right again. And I did.