CHAPTER 65 The Christmas Spirit

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copyright 2017 Chris Smith  All rights reserved.

"I want to bleed it all out of me

every word

until I feel nothing

until there is nothing

until I am



My Brother came to stay for a few days. We always set up his bed in, what turned out to be the storage/clothes room. This year he brought his own air mattress, which was smart. The fake wood floor was pretty hard and we didn't have much for padding to put under a sleeping bag.

I slept on the floor upstairs. But at least I had a little carpet for some cushion under my sleeping bag. We got rid of our beds during the foreclose because we didn't know where we were going. Literally. And we didn't have the money to pay for a storage unit to keep everything.

We'd left part of four houses worth of furniture behind when we left the Family Farm. It's amazing what you trim down when you're pushed to the edge. It's amazing when you find out what's important to you, especially if you don't have room for 99% of the bullshit.

Over the Holiday we made juice, watched movies, and worked at being okay and making Mom comfortable. The winter storms came so the little wood stove always had a fire in it in our little shanty shack. My Brother played main chef in the kitchen as he always did whenever he visited. Dad and I were glad to be rid of the chore of cooking.

Dad had a routine of getting Mom up out of bed and helping her walk to the bathroom. It was the zombie procession going to and fro the bathroom. It was good to keep Mom moving, if we could. Keeping her moving worked her muscles and lymph system too, which was always a good thing. The body wasn't designed to sit around. It was designed to move.

I'd be climbing up or down the stairs and Mom would come walking, with Dad behind her, out of the bathroom. She'd stop in front of my Brother's temporary bed for a minute on the way back to her bed in the living room.

"Hi Kid," Mom said.

"Hi Mom," my Brother said.

"How's it going?" Mom asked.

"Pretty good. How are you?" my Brother asked.

Then she'd let out a big sigh like she was carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders and had just realized it. Dad would stand behind her, waiting for her finish the conversation. He'd make a face when I smiled back at him from the stairs. It was adorable to watch because she acted so normal, like everything was fine. But everything was the farthest thing from fine or normal that I'd ever been in the middle of.

When she finished the little impromptu chat, she'd start moving again, with Dad behind her for support. They'd arrive back at her bed and Dad would help her get settled.

One of the neighbor's, Carl, took me downtown to help him Christmas shop. I got a day pass! It was the first time I'd been out of the house without Mom in months. I didn't even care that it was raining. But it was weird to walk around amongst normal people. I might have looked normal but I was an impostor. And Mom was at the back of my mind.

How was Mom?

Did Mom need anything?

How was Dad?

Had he choked her out yet?

There were a lot of people caught up in the present spirit, which was nice for them. But it was another reason I didn't like Christmas or being around people during the Holiday. Gifts were a thing of the past for us. I was glad to have a roof over my head, power, water, food, internet, and cable. I didn't give a shit about gifts. And I just wished all the advertising people would shut up about it.

My Brother took a few trips down to the local coffee shop to get out of the house. He said the internet signal was stronger down there. But I think he went for his own sanity. Who could blame him.

On Christmas Mom's health aide, Nina, came to bathe Mom. Nina had broken us in with the routine. First thing we learned was to have the water already heated on the stove before she arrived. Since water was a commodity where we lived, we couldn't waste it running down the drain until it was hot enough. So we compromised and heated it on the stove before Nina arrived. Nina didn't mess around. She wanted to get down to business the moment she walked in the door. By the time she finished, we'd have a clean Mom just in time for Christmas.

The rest of Christmas went by without much fanfare. We ate well and watched good movies. We were together which was the most important thing of all. The only other thing I wanted for Christmas, as a gift, was a fucking miracle.

Now you tell me, how hard could that be?

Juice Day 97

4 leaves collard greens

½ pomegranate

11 beet green leaves

2 beets

3 apples

4 leaves napa cabbage

5 carrots

1 cup red leaf lettuce

Mom's Juice

3 carrots

1 celery

½ cup pineapple

2 apples

1 small beet

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