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Bittersweet at christmas

Bittersweet at Christmas; the fairy-lights flickered in and out of my thinking in a curious rhythm I couldn’t quite switch off from. I was mesmorised, every now and then somebody would call out something and I would have to concentrate to remember whether this was an internal sound or whether it emitted from outside of me. The lights were multi coloured, there was no calm white, instead blues, reds and greens which seemed to want to merge into brown but couldn’t.

The wine didn’t flow; I’m not sure whether this was positive or not. I felt distanced from much of the frivolity, yet focused upon enough that I couldn’t drift too far. My cheeks were rosy as well but it was from the heat of the food rather than the alcohol. The scene aroud me was often racous and the food coma was intense, the weight of chocolate dessert in my belly held me down and present. Games were played, christmas songs were sung along to and mince pies and jam tarts were nibbled on continuously- the merriment was as complete as it is every year and I fell asleep that night contented, remembering still the plastic sheets I had been sleeping on only two weeks previously.

Christmas is a kind of madness- the family dynamic shifts into overload and yet it’s all wrapped up in tinsel trails and glistening wrapping paper. The food and drink flow on an obscene scale yet everyone keeps up, overtaking and falling behind depending on their own internal levels. Laughter, music and food take over: family at christmas, faces blurred in colourful baubles hanging on the tree, voices rising and rising into a steaming turkey air.

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