Let’s see…I think I’ll keep it simple and embellish where needed.
The whole trip began Monday afternoon, after I had cajoled my boss into letting me leave at 3 as opposed to 5:30, which made ALL the difference in the world. After a quick side trip to retrieve a Christmas/b-day present from a VERY unexpected source (see twitter entry re: “Christmas Miracle”), I nom-nom-nom’d and pack-pack-packed and shower-shower-shower’d and got to the train station WAAAAAAAAY too early…but made it on the train w/ a random friend that happened to be there, and we were off.
Trains are slow. Don’t let those PBS shows fool you. Lot of time for sittin’ and thinkin’. And you best believe I was thinkin’. And I barely slept, but I was excited to be on my way home, like the Beatles song! First time since I’ve lived in LA. I’ve been home for Christmas, and it was a HUGE deal for my family.
My folks were there in sunny, cold downtown Albuquerque and they were more than happy to fulfill my request of lunch (Sonic Drive-In, where they were randomly playing Belle and Sebastian’s “Funny Little Frog.”), a shower, and a nap in that order. For there was a party to be held at the Holmestead that evening.
And evening came, and party was had! Friends I hadn’t seen in tolerances from 1 month to 11 years were there, as well as a good chunk of my extended family. If I could’ve split myself out all Jaime Maddrox style, I’d have fared a lot better. As it happened, I got pigeonholed a few times, but still, a good time was had. Oh, and did I mention that for this naturalized Californian, it was FUCKING. FREEZING?! Well, it was. And my parents old dog, Ebony shared my old room with me. It was bittersweet and strangely comforting. She’s not doing so good, but she was genuinely happy to see me.
So on Christmas Eve day, I’m left largely to my own devices. I DO, however, manage to get some details about a long standing family albatross from my mom, and let me say this: perspective fucking rocks. After a bitchin’ shopping trip to Central Ave. w./ my friend S., wherein I scored a rad Pendleton shirt and a Levi’s cowboy shirt commemorating the 1980 Olympics! I went for a drive around my old haunts and on my way back to my folks house, I stopped by this three story antique mall (just down the street where they filmed the climactic hotel battle for “No Country for Old Men.” El Paso, my ass!). Which sent me on a weird trip down memory lane that I’ll tell you about if you ask nice. But I got to the top floor, and the vibe was just…
Well, I could only call it the Pimp Arcade. There was all this signage from this now-defunct strip club and a TON of 70’s style bedroom furnishings. Including a rotating bed. Oh, and about two dozen old arcade games that were just there. It was beautiful and surreal and creepy. It was like the bedroom I’d fantasized about at 14, but daren’t wish for too dearly. I didn’t dwell long! Back to the folks’ place to await dinner @ my aunts…
Where the surrealness continued and we swapped ghost stories over dinner. Which I guess is a tradition in certain places, but sure as shit NOT at family’s dinner table! And THAT conversation segued into a heart to heart w/ a cousin about psychic phenomenon, the details of which are neat, but which I cannot give you. Sorry…kind of…
And then Xmas proper. Pretty chill, all around. All I asked for were socks/undies and Target and Best Buy gift cards. 3 out of 4 ain’t bad, I reckon. And at least I won’t have to use any of the Target card on socks/undies! But because I’m me, I spent a good chunk of the day thinking and wishing and pondering and pining and wondering what could of happened differently, which was a drag and a half to be around, I’m sure. And for THAT, I’m really sorry. But a quick lunch at the Aunt’s and then a spirited game of “Scene It: Turner Classic Movies” that evening cured the blues. Or at least muted them. I”m a good freaking guy with lots of friends and family who love him…who knew?
A trip to a metaphysical bookstore yesterday so Mama H. could replace her Guan Yin statue (a new age kind of Xmas?) that got broke at the pre-xmas party, more Sonic, as well as a little last minute train reading material shopping (which included me telling my dad I was sorry I was not at my grandfather’s funeral, and we had a nice moment, he and I), and another 16 hour trip (at least I slept a little better this time), and now I’m here. Typing this for y’all. I’m beat, a little loopy, a little sad, and very hungry, but I had to get it all out. I have a feeling there will be edits made, details added, and links provided, but for now, that’s where/who I am.
Big hugs to y’all, Happy Holidays.