Seven a.m.. My daughter wakes me up. "Dad! Santa was here!" Those are great words to hear. I had left the tree lights on all night so that when she woke up everything would be dark but that. The night before I made her the meal of her request: sushi. I arranged seven balls of sushi topped with almond butter on a plate. In between the rice I put slices of fresh organic orange. Her drink was natural pineapple juice (no sugar added, yo) and water. Afterward we made reindeer food and cookies. She made three cookies for Santa. A snowflake. A snowman. A smiling face. They were delicious.
She was delighted with the gifts from me, Santa, family and co-workers. I took plenty of pictures. We played until the point of exhaustion. I was sick and in pain, but I didn't care. I would do this until I choked to death on my own blood if I had to. These are memories neither of us will forget.
And then she had to go.
As a dad, that fucks with me. The house which seemed so joyous and alive just mere minutes ago was now as silent as a tomb. The mute terror interrupted only by my coughing and the occasional noise from the hamster.
I wrote a bit. Film Threat was (and is) still down. I had already sent out my manuscript, but I have other things I'm working on. I always have other things.
When that got to be too much, I decided to watch a film. Ils. Foreign horror is always good for the soul.
I shut the blinds. Lit a candle. Watched. Great film. The reveal was not what I expected. Not by far, but I was happy to know I identified the noise correctly. Didn't learn that until the last scene, though.
Laid down. Tried to read some Selfish, Little. If you've read it, you know small chunks at a time is all that is mentally possible.
So I closed my eyes and fell asleep for a while. Candle burning as if I didn't care, and I didn't. Never ate dinner. Stood in the dark. Thought it was way too quiet. Put on the Misfits and thought for a while. Thought about life. What I wanted from it. What I didn't want anymore. Visualized my idea for world peace. Turned up the Misfits louder.
I'm supposed to see my darling little girl today, but she has been throwing up. Possibly from too much Christmas cheer. So I've got the Misfits playing again. Loud.
Last night I got back to writing. Coughing so much my back feels like it is on a revolt. Pretty sure that if this doesn't go away soon I won't be able to move. I've got weeks of it, though, to look forward to. People at work have it. It is misery.
Misery is such a pretty word. It lingers on the page. It means so much. Even in happiness there can be misery.
I don't drink. I don't own a gun. I don't put a needle in my arm. I don't have a gambling problem. I don't routinely lie to myself. I don't take pills to stabilize. But I know why people do these things. I know exactly why they push things to the back. I know why the measures they take are so self-destructive.
A friend texted me. Are you okay? She had a feeling, I guess. I wrote back that I was. I didn't lie. Wouldn't lie to her. I was okay as okay could be.
I used writing as a form of therapy. I think I've evolved. It will be a good day no matter what. If I don't get to see my girl, I will miss her, but I know she is with her mom and her mom will take care of her.
Are you okay? Yes.
As okay as okay can be.