Christmas Eve


by Julian Calero

i can't keep from falling asleep. everyday i take in at least 16 hours. usually i can manage to stay awake for about 3 hours at a time and if i'm lucky sometimes i can pull 5. i wouldn't really call it luck though. sometimes it just takes longer to patiently await sleep, maybe even death. my eyes always droop and my belly grows larger and larger every day. i don't eat a lot, but i don't move a lot either.

yesterday courtney didn't call. she has a friend in town from austin, some guy who she wants to buy diner for. the day he arrived i told her to give me a call sometime when she wasn't too busy. she called and woke me up at 3 a.m. the next morning. when i picked up the phone i didn't ask what she had been doing all day and all night, i just told her to give me a call some other time. i knew she was calling because i had asked her to and not because she wanted to talk. courtney told me she was proud of herself, but i didn't ask why. most nights i question why i'm with her at all, so until i answer that question i don't expect much from her. in high school i used to think when a girl let you touch her tits it was a big deal, a symbolic event revealing that a girl cared for you so much she let you touch something sacred on her body, but like a fool i went to the mall and blew fifty bucks on a christmas gift for her just to sit here alone on christmas eve. the night i gave her the gift she left it in the car. i didn't want anything in return, just a christmas kiss from someone other than my mother, but now she'll probably just give me some sympathy gift on the 3rd or the 4th, some key chain or some top 40 cd. i bet that guy from austin is getting something he'll be able to brag about when he goes back home to his birkinstock paradise though, but i won't hear from her until after the holidays when she starts to feel lonely again.

paul simon is playing on the stereo. for some reason i don't think that he ever had any problems with the girls. he is a short little monkey of a man who has been famous since he was a kid. paul ended up with edie brickell, a hot little number at least seventeen years younger than him and with a pretty penny or two for herself. his songs never talk about love, at least not for women. he has transcended the pettiness that most songwriters have come to lean on, girlie love and relationships. instead he mumbles on about patterns, sparrows, some place called saganaw, and he squirts things out about "don't wanna end up a cartoon in a cartoon graveyard." i have no idea what that is supposed to mean, but i sing along every time that song comes on because it gives me a sense of security. i no longer have to worry about becoming old , bald, and alone, just a dead cartoon rotting away somewhere. i'm sure i'll be able to avoid that.

my sister keeps walking into the room. i guess she likes to see a grown man rotting away. she has the big god and a boyfriend and people that used to call to talk to me now call to talk with her. she tries to wake me up and force a smile out of me. i just tell her to get the hell out of my room. sister will probably invite me to church later. she means well, but i'll probably just want to fall asleep later and hope that santa brings me a good book or a bottle in the morning.

i used to drink about four or five times a week, but i lost all of my drinking buddies. they all got involved with their own piece of ass and now i wont see them until they want to cry about it all. now the only time they grab the bottle is to get their girl's pants wet. it's not the same though, drinking isn't supposed to be instrumental. you aren't trying to get anything out of the bottle, not a raise, or a promotion, or even a piece of ass. you are just trying simply to enjoy the emptiness, the oblivion. i would still be up to four or five times a week, but i'm not of age yet and besides, i don't have any money. now i drink about once or twice a week with my friend neil. neil has a wife and a baby, so he can't do the all week thing anymore. i respect his reasons and i would probably do the same if i were in his position. we drop the baby off at his mom's house. then he and i and his wife go to a bar on dyer that doesn't card. it's not as good as it used to be, but it's something and he never forgot his friends. as soon as that day comes though, i'll be back at it and, more than likely, alone.

until then, i just sleep.