but you were wrong.

i put on my ipod and set it to low's "just like christmas." i was with my parents and my cousin and my aunt, and we were walking through the streets of hong kong. it was cold, and i had a sweater on underneath my leather jacket. it was cold, but the song was right: it wasn't like christmas at all. there was something off about it. no snow, no children playing with their brand new toys.

on christmas eve, tony and pino's kids did ravage through the wrappings once again, to find shiny new plastic things, books and stickers, go-go pets, whatever the hell those things were. there was something great about it, something that transported me to a time where my grandparents sat by the fireplace and everyone was there. i mean everyone.

and at the time, it was great. i didn't have to worry about where all the wrapping and packaging was going. at the time, i was happy to get that new ninja turtle or magna-doodle or whatever it was, but when i re-watch old videotapes, christmases in the eighties, it's about much more than that. it's about seeing my uncle with a beer in his hand, dancing in his new robe somebody bought him from mervyn's. it was about my cousin sitting on the floor, entranced by a monkey that clapped two cymbals together.

it wasn't about my aunt, too sad to return to the states, so she spends christmas now with children that aren't hers. she's started a new family, a driver and domestic helper and their children. she doesn't want to come back here because, maybe in her mind, those videotapes capture all that was good in life, all the good that will ever be.

so maybe there's this pressure to start a family myself. i get to thinking that maybe if i have a wife and children and turn my parents into grandparents, there can again be this sense of fulfillment, of warmth, gratitude, all that crap. maybe i won't ever have to wander the streets of hong kong again feeling like it wasn't like christmas at all.

but then again, it wasn't so bad.

1 comment:

Aby said...

Nice read... "moments like those were just preparing him for what life was gonna be: doing a bunch of shit he didn't wanna do"

This line just touched my heart..