He hit the turn off button on the TV remote, then reached up and wiped away a tear that was rolling down his cheek with the back of his hand. That dam film, every time he saw it, the same thing, each "Good old Savings and Loan" each "Zo Zo's petal's" each "every time a bell rings and angel gets their wings."
He had seen the film a hundred times before, yet he still got churned up by it. How many times he thought, as another tear threatened to roll down his cheek, how many time had he said he would never watch it again? Yet every Christmas, it was repeated, and he watched it with the same effect.
He stood up and reaching for the now empty beer can, and with his dirty plate took them into the kitchen. Adding the plate to the pile of, "I'll wash them in the morning" dishes in the sink.
"Dam" he said to himself again. "Dam, dam, dam Christmas"
Shop windows yelling at you to come and spend your money, bright lights, singing, receiving cards from people you don't know and being with your family.
He laughed, some chance, being with his family. He had not spoken to his parents since the day he stormed out of the house, and out of their lives. Once too often they had said no, and he had said yes, once too often they had argued, and this time there had been no turning back. That had been three years ago.
"Oh well." he thought looking at the clock, he would make his was to the bar, and see in Christmas with people who new his name. He would have some fun, and might even get a kiss or two under the mistletoe. One certain person, who might be there to give him a kiss and make him smile.
Just before one in the morning fumbling with his key he opened the door to his small bed-sit. The evening had been good, memories were only slightly blurred by the sweet red wine, and he had managed to kiss the one person he hoped would remember him in the morning.
He stumbled into his bedroom and crashed out on the bed.
Sleep came very quickly helped by the evening's alcohol intake, and with sleep came the dreams. It was like a muddle of all the Christmas films rolled into one, wondering what life would be like if he had not been born, and then flash backs to Christmas past. His parent's faces, and the joy of the family Christmas's from the past.
He woke in the morning, his dreams wrecked across the tumbled sheets of his bed, like so many ships lost on a stormy sea. He woke with the resolution that he must speak to his family. Christmas was a time for forgiving after all. He poured himself some orange-juice and thought about he had to do. For some reason he wanted to have a shower first, he did not want to make the call to his parents in the disheveled state he was currently in.
Thirty minutes later, feeling more alive he shakily picked up the phone and dialed their number. His mother answered the phone.
"Hi Mom, this is Tony"
He heard his Mom catch her breath, then the sound off the phone being dropped.
His father must have picked the phone up.
"Hello" came the gruff voice of his Father that even now almost made him put the phone down.
"Hi Dad, this is Tony, Happy Christmas."
There was a pause.
"Sorry, you must have the wrong number." Came the reply, then the line went dead.
Slowly he put down the phone, and wiped a tear from his eye. "Dam, dam, dam Christmas." he shouted.
Some time later, with his sipping his second cup of coffee, he sat pondering in the kitchen.
At least this year he had tried, had made the first move.
Perhaps next year he thought. Perhaps next year his parents would accept him, accept him for what he was. Accept him and hopefully his new boyfriend.
Another year and they might understand he had different feelings to most other men, might realize that not matter what he was their son, and he loved them.
He sat in his kitchen some time later, drinking his second cup of coffee. At least he had tried; at least he had made the first move. "Perhaps next year." he said to himself. "Perhaps next year, they would accept him, and he hoped his new boyfriend. Perhaps another year and they would understand he had different feeling, but he was still their son.
© Barry Eva December 2004
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