I met a man today.
Not what you think. Not even a little bit.
I had spent this morning packing up the glittering detritus of The Christmas That Never Was. One more act in this tragicomedy that has been our relationship.
Wrapping carefully, as has always been my way; the inexpensive, rather shabby trinkets that I had purchased and put out with much excitement and anticipation just a few weeks ago.
On that evening, one of the last weekends before Christmas and the day of my only pay cheque before Christmas; they had seemed so beautiful in my eyes. Every gold or silver star I hung was a wish and a promise for us, for our future. Together. I wanted to give you the kind of Christmas that you told me had passed you by this year.
As I stood observing the little box of finished packing, I couldn’t help the clutch of pain round my heart, or the tears that it caused to appear in my eyes all of a sudden. “Falling stars, broken dreams”, crossed my mind. I knew I’d never be able to look at these trims in the same way. I threw on my coat and boots and grabbed up the box along with the bag of the little gifts that I’d bought for you.
He was behind the counter of the charity shop that is a short walk from my home, dusting some shelves. I rather burst through the door of the otherwise empty store, allowing my hurt and anger to carry me forward to follow through. Plopping down my box of broken dreams on the counter and then the bag of gifts.
Brilliant blue eyes, widened in surprise as he turned and looked down at my offerings. I jumped back from the evidence of your rejection and our demise, like a scalded cat. I felt as though I cast about wildly, all big eyes and flying hair, looking for escape and a way to cover my shame.
As I turned quickly to make my exit, I heard his voice. Gaelic lilt, soft and yet reaching my ears at the front door from his position at the counter. “I had a Christmas like this a long time ago. It wound up being the best gift I ever received.”
I hunched my shoulders against the words, half turned with a tiny wave of my hand to acknowledge he’d spoken. It wasn’t what I wanted to hear. Still isn’t.
I’m sitting here now, with a big mug of tea; in my quiet living room. It seems rather austere, with the holiday trappings gone. I hurt. I hurt and I am so damn lonely, I don’t know how I will get through the rest of my life.
I am surprised though, by how the thought of how brilliant blue that man’s eyes are, keeps running through my mind…
06 January 2013