martedì 3 maggio 2011

A Christmas Carol (An Attempt at Storytelling)

I've been thinking of getting back at short story writing for a while, and this place might be as good as any, if not better. This piece has been roaming in my head for a long time. I know we're in fluffity-flunkin' may and that a story set on Christmas Eve is a bit out of place, but you smell and i fart in your general direction.


The icy air gave his skin a weird feeling. No matter how cold everything was, covered in muddy snow that had nothing pure to it, slippery and grotesque, he liked the combination of the rush of blood to his every pore and the touch of winter striking that same blod back.

He dressed lightly, no matter what the climate was. There was something in those evenings that called for stylishness and stylishness needed sacrifice. Yes he would've probably caught a cold, but he would've done it looking striking. Shaved, with a touch of makeup, a few pre-emptive chemicals in the body to give the edges a different shape, vintage clothes assembled with care, and a body full of hotmonal tension and expectations. It wasnt like the night was going to be special. But there would be people around, people to echange looks with, to touch, to feel. Drinks to be drank. A stage to strut on.

It was christmas Eve, but it was also a full on friday night, filled with people.

He loved to feel the craving for intoxication, to know that ina bunch of minutes, everything would turn unpredictable and subject to rapid change without notice. That was the only thing that kept him still together. The day were a drag, full of grey, monotony and anxious nothing. Bad memories, bad discussions and complete solitude to find shelter from total despair.

But those nights, the crowded ones, allowed him to lose control and taste a few drops of oblivion. They hurt the day after, but the moment was worthy.

He inhaled the last bit of his cigarette and savoured the feeling it gave him : a few seconds of void. Oxygen going a way, the brain panicking for a second. Looked at the sky. Black. No stars.

He got his mask ready and walked into the pub.


It wasnt difficult to ease into evryone's skin., All they needed was alcohol. The power of alcohol was somehow magical, in that context. All they wanted was something that destroyed their inhibitions enough to blame everything they would do on that.

Being drunk: the big cover up for showing your inner self in it's darkness and light.

So he exchanged presents with friends, loving them uncondionately. He always looked for the right things that would make people happy in a surprised way. He hated Christmas on a basic level, but there was so much hunting joy in trying to understand someone's soul and wrapping it into a package. And the moment in which he saw their joy and owned those people's hearts for a bit, was a rush that could get him addicted.

Such an egotist thing though. They thought he had a huge heart, while all he did that for was to feel like he was holding their feelings in his hand, being able, for once to control them and getting all that love that he seemed to be constantly craving like a junkie in eternal withdrawal. That expression was all that seemed to give him a will to live anymore. Knowing that they were gratyeful, that you got the upper hand for a second, that you made their heart beat faster. This was going to go away. They would stop, eventually. And it would leave him dry and scarred.

He seemd to need more and more. More rushes to fight the cracks that were getting bigger and bigger in his soul.

And that night he pushed it even more. He got one of them in an corner and kissed him. He had teased his attraction in those times of androgynousness, for days and nights. Back thgen they were all doin it. Beiung all messes helped. They felt like they were pushing boundaries and breaking rules, able to do whatever they wanted cause being rockstars helped. They were all Ziggy Stardust. Some more succesfully, some others less. He wasnt one of the succesful ones. too much pain in his head to be carefree. But he tried hard. letting his lust and drive speak. Cause once he was high enough to let his body do all the work, all that mattered waas feeling good.

So he kissed his bes friend, in the dark of a parking lot. One hour after midnight. They both tasted like smoke, and beer. They were shaved but still men. But they both had that energy that you have in your twenties and youre insane, that makes your body a machine for feelings and hedonism. So as long as the brain stopped thinking, anesthetized by the cold and the adrenaline and the chemicals, evrything just jumped from one point to the other.

They wrapped their mouths one ach others bodies, playing with their tounguyes, touching each other to push feelings. He tasted him. Up to his every last drop, and felt that voice he always identified with friendly ribbing turn into an ecstatic moan. It all made sense.


And as sign of the night ending, the phone rang.

It was mother, she was screaming.

He ran at her house, knowing that this would break him.

He fought the buzz and the high, let the fear and cold make him sober again.

While he stumbled tryin to open her door, he dropped the presents into mud. Let them stay there.

She was in the house falling. His father nowehere to be seen. Somehwere else, forgetting.

She was in her underwear, covered with food stains, make up turned into a clown mask. She probably dined alone at christmas. Why didnt he know? Or did he know and just ignored the fact?

He tried to talk to her, while with one hand he used the tears that were running from his eyes to wipe his make up off. He hoped to look as her own child again, so maybe she would listen this time.

She looked at him, eyes unfocused. Barely a person, anymore. She laughed, bitterly. Took two steps back.

He tried to rech to hold her, but she snapped away. Then pissed herself. a strem of piss touching the ground, making a pool. Then she sat in it laughing. All he could make out was "It's your fault. You made me into this"

And he knew that was true. That was a woman once, before marriage. Before living with an emotional vampire. Before having a baby she did not want and hididng her contempt with alcohol, just like he did.

He caused that. And yet he was the one who felt hurt. She was ruining the night, staining the memories with something disgusting and embarassing. Burning a hole in them.

He went at her and hit her. Once. Twice. She whimpered. Cried. Vomited.

He felt a rush of panic filling his whole body. Ran away.

Outside he sat where the prents stood. Tears now mixing with snot on his face.

It was the night before Christmas and all he wanted was sleep.

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