Thursday, November 21, 2002

Bannoffee Pie

Comfort food! No, I'm going to a Pie Party tomorrow at the studio. Take a pie and get in free! So, I thought, why not? They've never had it and it's easy....the condensed milk is in the pan, bubbling away for a couple of hours while I watch it (from time to time!).

It dawned on me why I'm feeling so vulnerable. It's "that time of year". Holiday season. So fucking wot. I hate December. From the time I was about 27 I have spent every December in a total alcoholic blur. The first time I did it was because it was the run-up to the "Big Day". My anniversary is December 18. I remember the day I walked out - 2 weeks before my birthday. I know I got divorced in June. Ask me the dates and I have no idea. Dec 18 - can't forget it. Doesn't matter how hard I try, it's always there and I guess it always will be. Closely followed by Dec 21 (my ex father-in-law's birthday) and Dec 25 (my ex's birthday). No, it wasn't Christmas - it was his birthday. For how ever many years I lost Christmas. Birthday boy got all the attention. Then the year I left, Christmas was horrible. I hated it. I wanted to be on my own but my mother decided to have a big family party with grandmother, aunt, uncle and cousins. This was in the "we don't talk about him" period. So we didnt. Just pretended it had never happened. The year after I actually wanted to be with people - it was going to be my last one in the UK so I'd cancelled a trip to Scotland to be with friends and family. My mother cancelled Christmas cos my sister was somewhere else. I was very drunk that year. The whiskey came out about 10am. Lots of tears. Since then it's been mixed. My first year in Buffalo was the Christmas I managed to get on my own - two years later than needed. I spent the day on my own and I loved it. Last year was good (thanks to Greybird!) though I did have a day when all I did was drink and cry.

Anyway, back to the plot. So, first year was Christmas parties, hen parties, wedding parties. It was fun. Then it sort of got into a rhythym....anniversary party, birthday parties...blah, blah, blah. I worked with a regional sales force so I used to travel the country going to their parties. Great! I used to be able to get a marketing party, couple of regional parties and the sales department party in as well as a few others for luck! Til I was 30. Then my best friend decided to take an overdose. Last week of November (yeah it's almost that time). I was totally devastated. I'd been up in Leeds for a meeting and was driving back with someone from work. He called and I couldn't talk cos I was on the motorway. I'll call you a bit later. Ok. We stopped at a service station. Tried to call him. Phone was engaged. Never got through. Next morning he called to say he was going to a meeting, he'll call me later. Next thing I knew there was a call from his boss. Have u seen him? Told him that he'd said he was going to a meeting. He hadn't been. Got a call from HR. Any idea? Told her the same thing. Next thing I get a call to say he's taken an overdose. Wot d'u do when your best friend who you talk to every day and see most days is no longer there? Drink of course! All the way from the end of November through to January and then some. I'm pretty sure I didn't stop for long enough to sober up.

He did actually recover. They got to him in time. No sure what he took. He was in hospital for ages and then had to go to counselling and stuff. They put him on anti-drepressants and it just wasn't the same after that. Some of it was guilt on my part. Took me a while to forgive myself. If I'd talked to him maybe I could have stopped what happened. I don't know. And I'll never know. I never saw it coming. If you'd looked at his life and looked at mine I'm sure most people would have said it would be me that would do that. But it wasn't. I last saw him just before I came over. From time to time I think about him...especially this time of year. Still got pictures of him. I want to call him but I know I shouldn't. He needed to get on with his life and I can't mess that up for him. But I do wonder how he is. You'll probably will never get to read this but if by some strange coincidence you do, you should know that I miss you terribly!

Here we are again. I suppose the Holiday Season officially opens next week. I've been blocking it out. I don't want to think about it but I've been listening all day to the Account Managers wishing people Happy Holidays and telling them we're shut for a couple of days. I don't think I can avoid it any longer. I overheard the first "what are you doing for Christmas" conversation today. I've not been shopping for a while but I know the shelves will be filled with red and green things. And all I want to do is fast forward through it. I love Dec 26. I know it's all over for another year.

That's all I want to write. I don't have a good ending. I just want to stop. So I'm going to.


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