And here we are again.  Christmas Day.  A low-key one now that we've all gotten older and tired of holiday ritual.  There will be presents, and the children have returned home just like every year, but the ties are purely familial.  Christmas has become joyless, though not entirely unwelcome.  Sentiments that were augmented by the season in years past are now muted with years, and we sit around reading or typing quietly, more or less content but most likely mulling over our personal nightmares.  Closeness is a valuable commodity these days and all too rare in this ailing spiritual economy—supplanted with bogus advertisements, consumer and religious alike.

I am surprisingly numb today considering the circumstances surrounding this morning, of which I will spare you the details, and in lieu of further silence in my corner of the website, I figure it's best to fire off one of these tepid personal reflections and get it out of the way.  Readership is likely down on December 25th.  This is a lucky thing.

It used to pour out of me like a mudslide.  The piss and shit.  The melancholy.  I had pages of it in my little black book and online, and everywhere I turned I saw twisted screeds about the Death of ____________ or human pestilence.  I was a prolific bitcher.

And now, I've been saving it for myself for something like a year, more or less.  The waters have built up, and this sick, familiar feeling in my chest belies the presence of unspoken regrets, a whole list of how-did-I-get-heres and what's-wrong-with-mes all waiting for their release.  If there is such an abscess, it is only because I allowed it to exist.  I invited the infection by tuning out and laying low.  I invited it by accepting defeat, perhaps even reinforcing the inevitability of what was once an eventual downfall and has quickly become a reality—a lame punchline for the even lamer joke of my early twenties.

Even if that's not entirely true—even if every half-decade seems this way in retrospectthe feeling is difficult to discard or ignore.  It must work its way into the open, whether by force or piecemeal, sneaking a hand and then a limb and then, finally, a head out the door, stilted sentence by stilted sentence until you're standing there with a three-foot gash in your ribcage and the odd feeling that this is the end of the line.

It's all too fucking familiar, like specters that never left or a recurring cancer.

I found that excerpt in my little electronic archive of unused drivel, and I'll use it as a little Christmas toast.  Here's to Bah Humbug and Ebenezer Scrooge and the pagans that started this whole shebang.  Here's to the advertisers and the Christians and anyone else who celebrates this holiday in whatever way they do.

It's just like any other day, except the Post Office is closed, and there's no place to buy beer.