a christmas tantrum

I’m in Target, about to explode.

Flat Christmas music thinly covers the buzz of cold overhead lights and my head is swimming. I feel like an overfull reservoir held by a crumbling dam and at any moment I might burst into a fit of tears or screams or maybe something more quietly humiliating like a fainting spell or a puddle of pee around my shoes. I tune back into the music, which is lying.

Simply having a wonderful Christmastime.

No one listening to that song has ever done any of those things while listening to it. Nothing has been simple or wonderful. All that’s left is the given – Christmastime. And having. Everyone who hears that song is simply having. That must be why this particular track is the unofficial theme song of every miserable December shopping trip, focused subconsciously but exclusively on what we have and, more importantly, what we don’t have, and what we need to have in order to make that wonderful Christmastime come to life. There’s nothing simple about it.

I stare at the makeup. Maybe if I buy enough of this skin glowificator and eye brightenizer and lip plumperator I’ll stop worrying about the lines sinking into my skin. Maybe if I buy ALL of it and dump it into the bathtub and marinate myself for 7 days around the full moon I’ll emerge renewed and forget all about how what’s supposed to be a celebration feels like just another goddamn chore.