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Purgatory, Damnation Books

January 2013

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Purgatory, Damnation Books

The Curse of Holidays

                               The Thanksgiving Blues

Oh, I gobbled too much turkey and my stomach don't feel so good
Oh, I gobbled too much turkey and my stomach don't feel so good
Now, my hands can't reach the keyboard
'Cause I done ate more than I should.

                                                                                           JE Gurley

Holidays! They seem so nice coming up, but each one presents its own set of problems - travel, family, finding time to write. First came Halloween. As  horror writer, I could't ignore this one. My wife and I went all out on decorations, lights, fog machines, scary music and costumes. About a hundred kids and their parents dropped by.  Most said our house was the best, but that commendation could have been influenced by the handful of mini candy bars each one received. All in all, I had a good time, but I lost three days of writing.

What with preparations for Thanksgiving dinner, eating said dinner, and complaining about how much I had eaten, I couldn't find time to write. When I did sit down at my computer, my head wouldn't cooperate - too much triptephene. My brain was as sluggish as my body. Like a big boa constrictor, it took a few days to digest my meal an get my brain cells firing again. I lost four days of good writing (Or four good days of writing, depending on the outcome).

Now, with Christmas and New Years just a hair's breath away, I'm frightened. We're having Christmas at home this year, but we'll have friends over. My band, Kamikaze Hounds,  may have a gig New Years Eve. At 58, it takes me a few days to recover from that. My fellow band members are 25-35. I'm the old geezer playing modern alternative rock. Fun but tiring. 

I write all the time, throughout the day, 7 days a week. I enjoy it. Time away from writing makes me jones for it. It's like a drug. Now I even have deadlines. Don't get me wrong, I love holidays, not so much for me but for the way people seem to become - nicer, friendlier (Except on Black Friday. It reminds me of he old horror movie, Black Sunday. People might die a grisly death). It's difficult to feel the joys of the season and still maim and murder people in a ghastly manner or destroy a city while whistling the theme song from A Muppets Christmas Carol.

Still, I try.


I carve pumpkins and put candles inside to sit on the front porch. Then face make-up and bib overalls to resemble a dead, fat, scarecrow. Frightens the hell out of the young ones, I have to go to the curb, kneel and offer them candy. I ask the kids for a trick before I give them a treat. One of the smarter ones got it right away and said, "Boo!" He got two handfuls of candy. One child wanted to know how I made the pumpkin glow from the inside. He never saw one before that had a candle in it. I come from a time when an occasional kid would burn down the house with an overturned pumpkin, but I guess those days are long gone, except for here.

"For you, puppy dog tails and eye of newt." I will say to some of the kids, who laugh. One mother though, looked inside her kid's stash to see if I really did put in puppy dog tails. Halloween is wasted on some adults.

We're having a Holiday/Christmas party. I have far more Jewish, atheist, non-practicing anything friends that it's hard to call it a Christmas party anymore. And I hate traditional religious music, so we've hired a jazz piano player to play holiday jazz while we toast each other and fill up on all manner of cholesterol laden tidbits.

My yearly physical is on Dec.12 and the doctor will put in my exam records, obese. It's his Christmas gift to me. I wouldn't know what Christmas was without someone, at some point, telling me I resemble a guy in a red suit but without the suit.

Then New Years, black-eyed peas with smoke ham-hock, collard greens and cornbread, Rose parade and football. It's all topped off with good intentions to go from obese to overweight by next season's holiday physical, but then Halloween ushers in winter storage and the cycle continues. And maybe I was meant to be that way, a jolly atheist that enjoys every holiday without the guilt.