Time Capsule: Christmas Day

Today’s mood: perfect. Just relaxed enough to not push Korean kids in front of a bus, just dissatisfied enough with my existence to write something. The sweet spot.

Christmas. A Korean colleague proudly presented me some hand cream. Apparently it was some top-shelf shit that her husband got from the masseuses at his spa. Military service is mandatory here, so it’s a land of trained killers who are also androgynous, well-mannicured mannequins. Can’t wait to be out of here. I’ve had my fun. Koreans are loud and Seoul is crowded and concentrated knots of yakking, braying humans make me want to take a chainsaw to them. I want to live in a library forever. Christmas doesn’t mean much here, it’s a couple’s date night really. Smug chunky well-moisturized thirty year-olds in itchy sweaters out in Itaewon for dinner with their too-hot-for-them model chicks, glaring into their phones at the table, sneering down at the homeless by the metro station. I don’t like smug people. Only I am allowed to be smug. It makes me wish North Korea won the war.

But it’s a good place to be for Christmas; didn’t have to buy presents because no one expects me to ship a fucking package from Korea. My sister is in Kenya and my grandparents are in London. Says a lot about our gray New Hampshire hometown that we scattered from it like rats. I did get my lady a good gift but made sure it wasn’t TOO good. Miscalibrated romance is how you lose the girl. In 2005 I made my college girlfriend a stop-motion movie set to “Jingle Bell Rock.” Paper cutout characters. Eight hours of shooting, two all-nighters editing the thing on Final Cut Pro. Had we not been Christians she would have fucked me for a week straight, I thought. In reality I was way too into her, scared her off like a bird flying away from a truck. We never once kissed because she wanted to wait for the altar. Soon afterward God told her we should break up. Unassailable logic in the Christian community. By comparison, my life is now some kind of satisfying epilogue.

Dreams come true. Christmases of a bygone era were when my dad’s brothers would come in from Colorado. I wanted to be Uncle Tom. Dry, goofy, seemed to not care about a thing in the universe. Which is now how people describe me. He was also a bachelor but I’m not right now: I feel like Bachelorhood is a video game I’ve beaten.

On Christmas you reflect. And you will reflect again on New Years. The gentle weight of maturity continues to settle over me. No more yelling at strangers, no more hangovers. Rigorous exercise and vegetable smoothies serve me well and at times I feel immortal. Bad thing. Once you start worrying about nothing, the universe senses it and throws cancer at you. On that pleasant note I hope you had a Merry Christmas.

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