When Wishes become maintenance
We all enter into an unholy pact when October turns to November and all seems routine. The odd wish that this year, it will be exactly as one wished it to be since entering adulthood, washes over one like a breeze off an ocean on a hot summer day. Reality reaches in with its spindling angry fingers and one's knees lock in defiance against all things repeated over and over every year, and the pondering begins. Which bill won’t I pay to make this holiday the holiday they’ve always wished for. Who will I neglect to see their faces just once, truly filled with the same awe pretended on the screens they watch where others are mystified by the spray of holiday dazzle. In the name of all that is unholy I size up the remaining time left to me to, not so much ‘dazzle’ them, as cause a momentary twinkle.
In my intelligent place there is a boat load of rationalization that sounds less and less like authentic ness, and more and more like bull shit. You know the place. We tell ourselves it's not the ‘things’ under the tree that matter! No, its the time together, good food, laughter and the spirit of the season that counts.I know, because I’ve been saying it for 36 years. Our time for that moment of dazzle, regardless of how hard I worked or saved, or sacrificed, never materialized. I still wrap necessity and tie it with a bow, then place it all under the tree and call it christmas. Socks, underwear, new pj’s and something useful. It always had a good beat and we could dance to it. We knew the drill. Next year will be better.
The recipients of my lifetime of gift giving have always played along. The smiles always came, the chuckles and hugs, plentiful. It will be this way again this year. And somewhere in my heart I am grateful and eager to have that moment on Christmas eve when we resign ourselves to the life that we’ve made and enjoy it, for a few hours. The questions are going to come back in on us soon enough. This next year, especially.
The evidence is before us and we’re smart people who never had any desire for the wealth splayed before us like it’s the only life worth living. We have always been fully aware of what impact the wishes for wealth can have on not only the wisher, but the people the responsibility for that wealth-wishing, lands on. Us. The people who work for less than is fair. The people whose low wage doesn’t allow for a doctor or a dentist or a counselor or a meal minus the chemicals and crap massive amounts of food are made with. The people who pay out more than is fair so they don’t feel guilty when the politicians scream entitlement. The people who stand in lines waiting for the opportunity to make life better for the greedy. But, I digress.
This year I wish for nothing more than a bright light to shine upon the people who work hard, at whatever it is they do, to hold up the people who think money is everything. I want you to know I am wishing for you this year. My time is gone. I am working very hard to accept that what we’ve made has value and is worthy enough to carry those that I’ve loved forward, into whatever waits for them. I wish that for you this holiday.
I wish little girls in Alabama to be protected. I wish for Flint water to be drinkable, I wish for the disabled everywhere in this country to be independent, I wish health insurance for everyone who needs to see a doctor, I wish shelter for those who have mental health issue and nowhere to go, but jail. I wish for any member of your family to have basic quality of life after you are gone. I wish and I wish for that bright light of value to shine on you and yours.
Who knows, if that bright light shines, and we look up from our labors to see how well it works for them, we may decide that maybe, just maybe, next year will be better for us, the people who have always made it possible for them.
After all, in the 36 years I’ve been making due and meeting those who live just like me, I’ve never met anyone who wanted more than what was fair. Never. Most importantly I’ve heard every story that can be told when we make pacts with the devil to survive. And fairness was a word commonly used to tell that story. Next time you use the words given you by the people who prosper by your labor, think hard before you crawl off shamed, ok? entitlement, fraud, lazy, useless masses, welfare, … all of it. It’s the tools of their trade to remind you of the role you play to keep them where they are.
“Fair” isn’t something the moneymakers see as helpful to them. Next year may be harder than any of us could have imagined. But our congress finally passed a bill, so their happy. To bad it’s further from fair than ever and the unholy pacts we’ll be pressed to enter into will cause us once again to blame each other. This year, wrap up some necessity with a pretty bow and put it under the tree, make it some much needed Fairness.
May you have a moment of sweetness during this holiday season.