Yesterday, I got up at the butt crack of dawn, as usual. I read the newest posts of the bloggers I follow and then posted my own. I went outside and as it has been for the last several days, it was unseasonably warm. It was almost apocalyptic warm. If I was celebrating Christmas, I would have been so disappointed.
I got dressed and drove for an hour to a church to serve food to the homeless. There were plenty of us there and there were plenty of homeless people as well. It had been poorly organized which resulted in several volunteers standing around, wondering what to do. Some of them were clearly confused and disgusted, so they left.
A few of the other volunteers (men) tried to strike up a conversation with me….”I like your necklace….where do you go to church”….blah, blah, blah. One of them asked me where I was from. I just wasn’t in the mood to answer a bunch of gratuitous questions from strangers. I’m sure they were just trying to be nice and I was polite but evasive. I was there to serve food, not socialize.
There were people showing up who still had quite a few of their teeth, others who had some of their teeth and a few who had no teeth. Some of them were painfully thin. They all offered a “Merry Christmas” and humbly accepted the food. I found myself looking for my son and wondering how many soup kitchens had opened their doors to him.
We served ham, green beans, macaroni and cheese, cranberry sauce and a roll. There were sodas and water and lots of tiny pieces of cake.
I looked around at the tables that had been set up in the gymnasium. There were single people at tables and there were families. Families. I admit, it was hard for me to see the families sitting all together at a table. There was the mama and the daddy and the children.
I remember when I had a family…when my children were little ones and before I found out that Loser (not my son) was a worthless piece of shit.
One little girl was holding a Barbie doll. It was her only gift from Santa but she didn’t seem to mind.
I watched these people scarf down that food like they hadn’t eaten in days. Some of them may have thought that it would be the last meal they had for a while.
There were husbands and wives working together, serving food and chatting like Loser and I should have. I know they say you should surround yourself with shiny, happy people but I really must be going insane. They make me sick. I don’t like to be around them and one of the first things that comes to my mind is “I wonder how many times he has cheated on her…and I wonder if she knows.” I wonder how many of those women have an incurable disease that was given to them by their husbands. I know it’s not my problem but that’s where my head is.
We got them all fed and gave some of them “to go” containers for later.
I didn’t come away feeling like I had contributed much. I didn’t come away feeling good. I came away feeling so sad that it was difficult for me to drive the hour without feeling like I wanted to break down.
I was wondering if my children were having a good time. I was hoping they were. I was hoping they and their children would have a wonderful Christmas.
I imagine Loser and his WTC made the short drive to his drunken mamas’ house. His brother and sister-in-law were probably there and they were most certainly having the most marvelous time. I imagine Loser had to buy his WTC a pretty decent present to assure her continued companionship.
After I left, I stopped at a service station to get some gas and decided to go inside and look for a snack. Their “honey buns” were on sale…three for a dollar. I got three of them and a bag of Sara Lee powdered doughnuts. I thought I might go home and make a cup of coffee and have a “dunkin’ doughnut” party. I didn’t but I’ve always heard that it’s the thought that counts.
I had quite a drive ahead of me and I took my time. I think I was the only car on the road.
On the way back, I had to drive through some rural neighborhoods. I passed rundown houses that seemed to be crying because they were falling down from lack of attention. I passed businesses that had died a slow, painful death after its customers had defected to a large box store.
That kind of scenery always bothers me. I try to imagine who lived in those houses and who used to run those businesses. I would have at one time, thought I was being nostalgic. I thought nostalgia meant wistful.
I don’t think I ever realized that the definition of nostalgia is “pain from an old wound.” Stupid me, I guess I should have gone to college like Losers’ WTC.
I didn’t send any gifts, or cards containing money to my children or grandchildren. I figure Loser and his WTC gave gifts and money…his WTC because she wants and needs (and wants them) to feel like “they belong to her now, too” and Loser because he needs to try to impress his WTC by acting like he actually cares about his children and grandchildren.
Christmas is over now and I made it through. I have a whole year to get ready for the next one which I imagine will be pretty much like this one.
I feel like my friend “the lonely author” who writes wonderful poems and stories…not because anything I write could compare with his renderings but because I’m here…alone. If you don’t already follow his blog, it’s certainly worth a gander.
Am I sad? Yes, I am incredibly sad but as Scarlett said “after all…tomorrow is another day.”