I just thought I'd take a moment and wish you all a safe and joyful season. I hope you find happiness during the holidays. It's a very special time to me.
I bet you thought I was more of a Halloween kind of guy, didn't you? Nope. That day lost its appeal a long time ago. Halloween is not really about death anymore. It used to be, back when most of you were peasant farmers. You'd be anxious about the harvest and terrified your dead relatives would come back from the grave and appear scratching at your window at night. You'd light bonfires and chant spells and leave small piles of food at the graveyard gate. Fun times.
Now Halloween is all about dressing like a skank and making bad decisions. It's about trying to get those pictures off Facebook the next day. Bright and loud and garish -- it's about life, really. So when you people weren't looking... I sorta crept into Christmas.
It's a perfect fit, really. You come back to your hometown, and everyone's older. You drink too much and sulk. The same songs and rituals are never as good as they were last year, or the year before. And of course some of the people from last year didn't make it to the party. Meanwhile all these young, fresh-faced punks are crowding around the tree, or gossiping near the mistletoe. You're being replaced. Every one of you. The party goes on all night, but soon it'll be your time to say your goodbyes and step out the door. And baby, it's cold outside.
Heh. Don't mean to be such a downer. It's just my way. But look at it like this: the holidays are a great time to take stock. Especially with that big number on the calendar flipping over soon. And me sitting out in the driveway, warming up the car for you and waiting, lights off and the engine running. I mean, if you didn't have to leave you'd never get around to doing anything worthwhile. You know that about yourselves, don't you? You're procrastinators.
Take some advice from an old guy who's seen a lot of regret: Think small next year. When you're sketching out your plans during that last week of December, don't keep trying to turn your entire life into something completely different. Everybody does that. And you've all failed by March, forgotten by April, and by next Black Friday you're haunted by me again. Stop trying to fight for something you've never had and you're not even sure you want. Instead think of the life you have right now, and the people around you. Tell yourself that this year, you're going to be a slightly better version of the person you've spent your whole life becoming. It makes more sense. It's doable. In the end you'll fail anyway. But I think you'll have a nicer time.
Take this as the only gift I'll ever give you. Next time we meet I will not be gracious. But why dwell? Enjoy yourself and stay off the roads if you've had a few. Because that just makes more work for me. And I like to take it easy. Believe me, next year will be busy enough. But you'll find out about all that later.
Merry, merry. Be seeing you. Bye.
Morning Music: Psycho - When I was in graduate school, a fellow student loaned me a copy of Almost Blue. I had avoided it because it was just an album of covers — and country cove...