Merry Christmas, I’m Dead Inside

The boxes beneath the tree tremor with soft scraping sounds etching into the cardboard from the inside-out. The tree is dry and I haven’t watered it since you dragged it into the house, put it up yourself and strangled it with lights. The strands flicker electrical shortages. I am in the armchair across the room, alone and in the dark – the dark broken across the room by the white and green lights sparking in and out, and behind the tree in the lousy bay window (bay window stuck to the front of our drowsy rental by a landlord finding a reason to charge more) are the outside lights hanging from the gutter and these lights too sputter in and out, a madhouse effect of lights’ electrical shorting and the rats in the fucking boxes wrapped in cheery Ho Ho Ho! are finally scratching through the cardboard.

I am in the armchair and I am wracked. My hair is at odd angles from hands that tried to hold the itching, the itching inside my skull, from cracking out, greasy and clammy from three days’ sitting here to remember what this was all about. I don’t how I arrived here to live in this house, with you. I can’t remember why I went to college, or why I dropped out, or why I stopped going to work last week. I don’t know how it is that you can cry, or what it is I’ve done.

I can’t rationalize why I should feel pleased that you – or anybody else – thought to buy me a sweater or a DVD or a god damned mouse for my laptop. ARE YOU EXCITED ABOUT THE WAFFLE IRON? I want to crack my teeth on the concrete steps that maybe the pain will be sincere enough to let me enjoy a moment of quiet television-watching so I can tell your parents how glad I am for the 12 months of Hulu they gave us.

There is something wrong here that I cannot understand. But maybe it’s me. I never remembered to buy you a gift, and to be honest it was far down my list of important life goals to accomplish. I sit here now, in this armchair, with a shuttering heart of regret as I watch, with a head that feels the pressure of a thousand leagues down, the sparking lights set fire to your tree.

I do not flinch, I do not think twice about the presents or your dreams or the life we’ve dumped into our little house, I can only sit here and stare as the flames reach the ceiling and I am drowning in a feeling I may someday call remorse. Remorse that I could never tell you how much I cared for us, because I could never put together what I wanted for myself.

There is something eating away just beneath my scalp, the frantic nail-breaking appeal of a damaged mind just trying to get out of hell. And I am sorry I dragged you in without properly marking the door.

I don’t know what it is I wanted with you, if I just can’t remember or if from the beginning I never knew, what it was. But the problem remains, every day; I am still completely in love with you.

I just want to one day be able to wish you a merry Christmas.

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8 comments

  1. oldepunk · December 24

    Reblogged this on RamJet Poetry and commented:
    Mich Hugh, wow.

    Like

  2. Sudden Denouement · December 24

    Reblogged this on Sudden Denouement Literary Collective and commented:
    Thank you Mick Hugh.

    Like

  3. Sudden Denouement · December 25

    I worked until four. At some point I had to go to the hardware store and get a lock rekeyed. I checked your site on my phone and went and sat in the car and stare into space for about 10 minutes. This fucking shit touched me in a way I can’t explain here. You are not a normal WordPress writer. I get that. Olde Punk gets it. I am sure Sam and PBBR get it. You are among people who get it and understand how great you are.

    I went to bed last night and had zero fucking energy to do any of this. I thought of spending the last six months doing this and thought, “I should be out looking at Christmas lights with a beautiful girl who will tell me everything is alright.” Instead I have spent the last six months writing and publishing and making friends. I am tired. Shit is fucked up. Really fucked up. But, then I read your last two pieces and realize I am doing the right thing. I don’t have a choice.

    This shit is inspired. Thank you for reminding me that we are doing the Lord’s work. Really, this piece may have saved me today.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. secretfirstdraft · December 25

    Reblogged this on Secret First Draft.

    Like

  5. Gospel Isosceles · December 25

    Buying useless shit for people we love ought to be way down on our life goal list. I think you’re doing alright. If I were receiving this poem from you for a Christmas present, I would be happy.

    Like

    • MickHugh · December 25

      Lol. I’ll wrap it and have it the mail by next week

      Like

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