Everything else can burn
I think that all good relationships have secret kindnesses as invisible string, keeping people together. All bad relationships have secret cruelties as wedges that push people apart.
Alison and I had very little bad between us. The good stuff, man, it was good.
The thing I loved most about Alison and my dad were those secret kindnesses. My dad, for example, told us he loved us every time he saw us.
I’m told not all Chinese fathers do that. Wouldn’t know. What he did with us was all I knew.
Told you once of one of Alison and my secrets. But I’ll tell you again, anyway: For Christmas, we always got each other the same thing every year – a single Christmas ornament.
I always got her some beautiful, classy thing. Cause she was my beautiful, classy thing.
She always got me some funny, goofy thing. Why that is, I dunno.
The ornament you see above is what she gave me in 2013. Cause she knew I loved The City so.
In 2015, before she was diagnosed, she gave me one with a father, mother, and son. I think I actually hugged it.
In 2016, when she had the goddamn cancer, she asked me to come to the room and, with her one good arm, handed me an ornament.
She had asked her mom to get it for me. I stammered out a “thank you” for it and tried my best not cry in front of her.
Even in all her suffering, she thought of me.
God, I cannot think of a fucking thing I ever did in my otherwise unremarkable life to deserve her.
That was the last ornament I would ever get from her.
This year, tried six times to put them up. Couldn’t do it. So I put up the stuff the kid made in his art class instead.
Wanted to take a pic of the ornament from 2016, but that’s a no go.
In case you’re wondering how I’m spending the holidays. I sit alone a lot, when the kid is away or sleeping, and shout obscenities. For serious.
Leigh’s husband said it’s like tourettes. And it is.
You’re randomly sitting down and some memory comes up and and hits you in the face and you scream out, “FUCK!!”
It’s always a memory of some tiny kindness of hers that tears through me the deepest.
The memory of her handing me that last ornament was enough to make me sit down on my cold shower floor and struggle for breath while the kid mimed “Heads, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” outside in front of the tube.
That ornament was her last gift to me. The kid, the best.
If the house ever burns down, I’m grabbing the kid, the ornaments, and my network attached storage device.
The last one because it has stuff like “Heads, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes,” for the kid. And cause it has alla my pictures and videos of my families before we got broken.
Everything else can burn. Just like 2015-2017.
Location: 11 days from the new year, as if it matters
Music: My drink’s my only remedy, for pain of losing family,
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