I am taking a brief breather from the book for today. Maybe later.
As we enter the season Christians know as Advent, I look back. Each year, I look back. And I am forced to mutter in unison with a voice from a story -- the same single word. Ben expresses the thought well. And Charles (the Story-teller) expresses my sentiments exactly through Ben. I have to wonder where I went wrong that I speak as Ben. (Before you ask who Ben is, continue this blog.)
Sure, Ben had a rough life. No friends as such. Shipped off to a boarding school and forgotten by his father, even at Christmas. He threw himself into his work, not caring about anything except money. Dumped by his betrothed because he changed too much. He developed a successful, if heartless, business with a partner who died on Christmas Eve. Seven long years, he became stingy, uncaring, a totally heartless monster (I speak figuratively, of course. Not undergoing a metamorphosis, like changing into a cockroach (A la Kafka) or a werewolf, but simply changing).
Of course, by now you know I'm speaking of Ebeneezer Scrooge.
I used to love Christmas season. Now, it's merely an outlet for commercialism, secular celebrations which mean nothing. I've had my childhood; Christmas no longer means what it did.
At this time of year, when I'm broke, on the brink of eviction because I cannot keep up with the Mortgages, disabled, hounded by collectors -- I find myself with no reason to be merry. I find myself hurting, deep inside, even though grateful for my sisters, wife, and the remnants of what family is mine. Yes, I am hurting, and watching the old TV programs meant to convey the happiness of the season does not help. The spirit of Christmas is dead.
The commercialism of the season has killed the spirit. And the lack of financial stability and future is a sword through my soul.
So, I am ofrced by my nature -- to mutter the timeless expression coined by Dickens, through his character: "Humbug."
So, here I sit, in front of what little I still have, even though it is falling apart. Christmas means little, if anything. The little boy who once eagerly awaited Christmas is dead, years dead. And I find myself crying over what could have been, and what actually is. I ask why. And there is no answer.
It's not that my heart is empty. But the spirit of the season cannot work its way through the calluses that have built up over the years. And when the friends you thought you had turn on you, it merely deadens the delight of the season. When certain people lie about you, it hurts. The only way to shut out the pain is by killing the spirit.
So, forgive me, if you will, for uttering "Humbug." I can no longer bear the season. And, like Scrooge (According the Spirit of Christmas yet to come), I suspect that I will find myself in an unattended grave, a grave left to the mercy of the elements -- with nobody to remember that I even passed this way.
That's simply the way it is: AS I SEE IT.