I thought I might quit cigarettes and alcohol,
just to see if I’d feel at all different,
but the monkeys on my back are the only friends I have at 2am,
when I’m thinking of the way the years just run away if you let them.
The air was icy as I leant from my window,
swaying with the wind,
gone with the nostalgia as the stars fell with the snow,
and I slowly fell asleep.
Somehow, I found my way back to bed,
dreaming of sour sugarplums and fairies, who, frankly, were tired of my melancholy mood,
and as I awoke,
there she was,
peering over the end of my bed.
A tiny tower of disapproval,
small hands on little hips,
frowny face and pursed lips.
She beckoned me closer and I threw the covers over my head,
but as Dickens had made clear,
one cannot simply ask ghosts to get back to you at a later date.
Her brown eyes were full of disappointment,
my reluctant hand full of resistance,
but she was stronger than I’d allowed myself to imagine she could be,
and she pulled me towards the open, ominous window.
Off to the sky we went,
snow circling around us as the landscape below got younger and younger.
She took me back to the barrio,
and seemed miffed that I was so unmoved by my infant self, cradled by my hapless hombre,
so off we went,
to the smoky streets of London,
and she was unimpressed by me smoking a cigarette as she dangled yet another Christmas gone by in front of my tired eyes.
We got to 2020,
the Yuletide of yearning,
masks and macabre moments of self awareness,
those moments where I’d sit on the stairs with a drink in one hand and my head in the other,
face to face with how empty my world really was when my blood was stripped away.
I didn’t cry, but I walked past myself,
out into the snow,
once again, alone,
lighting up a cigarette,
as I called my long suffering Mother.