A memory of Christmas Eve 2019: She had raged at both of us, but I think more at Oscar, especially when he defended me. Now Oscar and I are watching her tenderly feeding a stray cat while we stay in the car. We can’t believe the difference between that person and the miserable monster yelling at us at her house. Oscar tells me that I’m a nice person and that I don’t deserve this. He tells me he’s been through awful things, even killed people in the Mexican army, and he’d never treat people the way she does.
Christmas Eve 2020: Oscar’s been dead several months, and even though he told her to be nice to me as the stretcher took him away to the ambulance, she has decided I’m too much trouble to spend Christmas with.
Christmas Eve 2021: She doesn’t remember, but I made dinner and she came over. Nothing bad happened.
Christmas Eve 2022 wasn’t the worst Christmas I ever had. That honor goes to the one where she threatened to leave me in the middle of nowhere at night. But this one is a very close second. It was a massive failure in every way possible.
I missed the bus in 27 degree weather. This started it. She was enraged, so I was able to get an Uber. I didn’t see the driver in the car, the windows were tinted and he was very dark complected, so I approached a different Black guy. Very embarrassing.
When we got to her house, the driver said, “Oh, she’s got cats.”
“Yeah, she’s a cat lady,” I said, knowing I was in for it when I got in.
The big door was open and just the glass screen door was closed. There was a time years ago I got fussed at for ringing the bell while a cat was sick, so I knocked lightly and opened the screen door.
“YOU SCARED THE FUCK OUT OF ME!” she screamed brandishing a box cutter. “How’d you like it if I had cut you with this? What if I did that to you?” (She has – just knocked and came in, not cut me, heh).
Maybe it would’ve been for the best had she slit my throat and my festive red blood splattered everywhere. No more lonely. No more fucking up everything I touch. No more being a leech and a burden. But no, my suffering had only just begun.
She made me change my clothes in the garage in the 20s because…
“If I had to do it after getting bit, you have to .”
“Everything just has to be your way, ” she said repeatedly.
And then she found out I hadn’t defrosted the prime rib. That really was the end of things.
“The prime rib you bragged about getting all month on EBT? There’s something wrong with you,” she spat. A little monologue began with herself regarding my mental competence. ” I know you aren’t that debilitated. Well, maybe you are. Maybe your therapist can help you. There’s definitely something wrong with you. You act like you’re fucking Einstein, but.”
Please kill me, I kept thinking. Better to be dead. There’s nothing. Nothing here for me. Nothing. Over and over in my my mind. I kept wondering if Oscar was watching. A part of me thinks he knows she didn’t stop.
She got me a lot of nice gifts, but I’d have rather her just not be a cunt for one holiday. It was so much worse than I ever imagined.
I hoped my expensive gift ( bought on payments) would keep her from giving me any more hell. Who doesn’t want a waterproof Kindle Paperwhite right?
Her apparently, but I’ll get into that later.
We had Eggplant Parmesan she got with a couple other dishes from an Italian eatery.
“This should be enough for us,” I said hopefully.
“Yes, but I was HOPING for a feast with the prime rib.”
Somehow, the prime rib defrosted except for the very middle and we put it in the oven.
I didn’t volunteer to wash the dishes fast enough and she said the thing that almost made me walk out. I asked if she wanted to save the ziti on her plate. She accused me of wanting to eat her leftovers and I put the stopper on the counter without washing it after soaking the prime rib and I almost put the dish in her dishwasher without fully rinsing off the sauce.
“What the fuck is wrong with you? You can’t do anything for yourself. Your poor mother…”
I couldn’t see straight, my anger was so intense.
“Don’t talk about my mother!” And less loud, “You fucking bitch.”
“I wasn’t talking about your mother,” she claimed. I think it speaks volumes about her parents at what a bitter old cunt she’s become.
We began to get drunk. Miraculously, vodka and schnapps shots loosened her up. I’ve been present before when she was a mean drunk. This time she altered between happy and sad for Oscar. I’ll maintain to my dying day she was partially at fault for the suicidal binge of drugs and alcohol he went on that killed his liver, but it’s probably a little unfair of me. His liver was on the precipice of failure for years from crack, alcohol, and God only knows what else for years and he knew it. When he lost his job when the COVID mandates closed the restaurant’s indoor dining that was the last straw, but I think he was terrified of losing her to this guy from her past that was messaging her on Facebook. With no job, a secret drug habit, and an intense fear of being dumped,plus their constant arguing sometimes started by his antics, he no doubt felt like he had nothing to lose anymore.
When the prime rib was done, we had some and it was actually very delicious. I gave a tiny piece to one of the cats (who on the 26th had to go to the vet for an intestinal issue, though the piece was tiny and I licked off the spices) . I guess it is possible.
The Kindle, though the latest and brand new, lagged and had scrambled words. I got them to send her a new one, but she’s certain she’ll be charged for it and is mad she’ll have to take the other one to a UPS store.
So there you have it. If I have to lie and say I’m dying on New Years Eve I’m going to. I need time to recover.