Monday, December 25, 2006

So this is Christmas

I turn the TV on and watch some Christmas Day mass in a pacific island catherdral, in which a Frech speaking bishop speaks to a white wearning, grass endowed Samoan looking crowd, who break out in beautiful native chanting in response. I have no idea where it is, maybe where Gaugin made his paintings, except that everyone is fat in a healthy round way. I hope it's not somewhere I am banned from entering, because I'd like to see it sometime, if it isn't like Fiji, Malasia (where I have been), Hawaii, who are three of the long list of countries that prohibit HIV+ from entering. Then the program ends and the Pope is on the screen, I assume in a Vatican square, preaching in Latin. It is so quiet outside, and has been increasingly so in the last days, that I spent alone here while everyone I know either joined their families or took off somewhere. They show nativity scenes, nativity scenes from my country, but I know little about that. Or my own religion. I open the presents that I bought for myself for Christmas. I knew I would be alone and I knew it would be wierd, and even though I know what these presents are and my own money paid for them, I feel excited. There is a huge album of photographs called "America", containing near life size portratis of all faces from the businessman to the crack whore, and all states of man from birth through sickness to all kinds of death. There is also a booklet about writing fiction as though you were writing a movie script, by characterizing visually, which I hope will prompt me to do something about this hobbie of mine in the upcoming year. And then I will go jogging, pass through P's and pick up his trolley bag and pack, and try not to be too nervous about flying over to meet his family tomorrow, and not to be something that I am not and can never be because it's so tempting to give others what they want, or what you think they want, so that they will love you, so that you will not be alone on Christmas Day in a strange country whose language you will never fully understand, so that you can go back and start over, and be redeemed.

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