Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Christmas Memories.

I'm not sure how old I was when the Christmas Carol, Silent Night began bringing tears to my eyes, every time I hear it, but it does, tears that aren't accompanied with sobbing, or shoulder wrenching, or deep belly gulps and snot bubbles, just damp, rolling, polite, waiting in turn for the previous one to make its way down my cheek, tears.
        It's not sadness that creates the tears, but I think it's more of a sense of expectations that this will be the year, no matter how bad or good the past year was, we get to wash everything away and hit the re-set button, it also really gets me thinking about the innocence of youth and the opportunity they face. So for me that's when the Christmas season begins, the first time I hear Silent Night being played, and this year it was actually the 1st of December, Andy Williams came on the radio and Christmas 2012 had officially begun.

I don't remember specifically a lot of my Christmas Pasts but I definitely do remember the following one. What are your favorite Christmas Memories? What Christmas Carol is especially for you?

        As most of you reading this know, I come from a crazy household, lots of fun times, lots of not so fun times, lots of falling outs between sibling and sibling, between parents and siblings, between parent and parent, but it seemed that no matter what was going on as far as the relationship boogie, Christmas was always a time for us to come together as a family and bury the hatchet, (just not like the time Adrian literally tried to bury it in Julian's leg, luckily it was blunt and only left a bruise!) So this one year when the whole family was living in the same little mining town way up North, there were a few of us "not talking," to a few of us, I forget who was pissed at who, but it had been going on for a while, my older brother, sister and me had moved out of the house, so when the first one of us showed up to mum and dad's we'd be given the assignment by a sobbing mum to, "Go get your brother, or sister, it's Christmas damn it and we should all be happy and together."  Dad would huff and disappear to his bedroom, grumbling something along the lines of "I'm not talking to that feckin eejit or Jesus Mary and Joseph women, can you not just leave things be?" but you knew deep down he wanted the whole family around as well. So off one of us would trot to get the others that weren't there yet, and the negotiations would begin with the one that was on the outs, and no matter how long they went on, it typically ended with tears and hugs from the envoy followed once we got back to mum and dad's, by sobbing and hugging and apologies and where's the fecking whiskey?
So this year it was Linden who was the last to arrive, but when he showed up and all the bad feelings had subsided and the whiskey was beginning to work its magic he announced that for Christmas this year he'd splurged and bought himself (Linden loved buying gifts for himself!) an air pistol, and no, there is no line here that goes, "You'll shoot your eye out!" we'd never even heard of that movie in Australia.
Linden being Linden runs out to the car and brings in this very fine air pistol and the BB's that go with it, and dad who loved anything that made a bang or blew things up couldn't resist, he disengaged his crazy, mischievous, Irish brain and took dead aim at one of mum's old glass ornaments that she so lovingly transported the 12 thousand miles or so when she moved from England to Australia, he pulled the trigger, mum gasped and shrieked and screamed and cursed and managed to do it all with one breath in a single expulsion of air, and nothing happened to the ornament nor the air pistol, dad looked at mum, mum cursed at him again, dad held out his hand to Linden, Linden placed a dozen or so BB's in his hand, dad looked at mum, mum snarled, dad loaded the BB's, mum told him not too, dad smiled and took aim, all the rest of us sat on the blue vinyl couch, shirt backs sticking to it (it was always in the 100's at Christmas) Linden told him to aim a little high, dad did, and he nailed the green ball of glass, shattering it into a thousand little pieces, mum screamed, dad roared, Linden looked very proud and the rest of us smiled at dad and looked very concerned at mum when snapped her head to look at us.

Dad took aim and repeated the process only this time it was a little plastic lamb ornament, then he handed the pistol back to Linden and bet him, he couldn't take out one of the three Kings, extra points for the smug looking one with the box of gold. Mum finally recovered her senses after witnessing the carnage from the first two shots, and away she went, the yelling grew louder, the tears began to flow and then instead of joining in the row, dad just calmly proclaimed that "Your mother couldn't hit the fat end of a slow moving cow from 3 feckin feet, could ya Hazel?" mum, never one to shy away from a contest against dad, didn't give it a second thought, she asked Linden "How do I work the stupid gun?" he showed her and the next thing we knew she'd aimed pulled the trigger and put a nice little hole in the dry rock wall, dad smirked, mum squinted, Linden told her to aim a little high, and before you could say Merry Christmas, the smug, gold bearing King was history! Dad howled, mum told you so'ed to dad, Linden was proud again and we all smiled at mum telling her what a great shot she was. She looked at dad and asked which one next, and away they went, like a sniper crew, dad spotting, mum shooting, Linden reloading. We all took turns shooting ornaments off the fake green plastic Christmas tree and when they were all gone, including the terrified looking angel topper, we started on anything around the living room that presented itself as target, it was an amazing Christmas day, the walls were a little worse for wear, the Christmas tree was history and even though the linoleum floor was swept multiple times, months later when I'd come over there'd be another piece of sparkled glass floating around the floor. It was definitely a less traditional Christmas than most people enjoy, but it was such a great encapsulation of an Egan Christmas.

Love you Dad, wish we could have had a few more Christmases together, sleep in heavenly peace :)

Merry Christmas everyone.

Monday, December 3, 2012


What can I write about, really, I know it's beginning to sound like a perpetual whine, but it's probably the first thing that goes through my mind when I wake up, and I know it's the last thing that runs through it before I finally give up and go to sleep.
I guess that's a good thing, especially since I eventually want to be a writer, actually I am a writer, so I should rephrase that, and say, since I eventually want to make a living as a writer. So as usual I woke up this morning and as I poured my first cup of coffee I tried to remember all those fantastical ideas that rattled around my head at one-thirty-three a.m. then I remembered, I don't write fantastical stuff, which is a shame cuz I had some rippers bouncing around in there. So I tried again and realized that all the fantastical stuff partying in my head was my defense against the realities that were prying at the chinks in my not so well constructed armor.

Every few seconds as I lay in my bed last night wishing that, for this one tonight, please let me just instantly fall asleep, I don't want that phase of pre-sleep where all the worries and stresses of the day get to amplify and rewind on a slow motion loop. Naturally, I didn't get that, instead I got to lay, eyes closed, brain synapses exploding and they were all about my little bugger of a cat Opie. Now, I know there are people out there who will read this and think or say out loud, "Are you kidding me? the damn cat, he's still on about that damn cat." and to those people I can say right now "Piss off, and go read some other blog," because if you can't or don't understand the bond between humans and pets then you're a little bit sick and I don't need to have you as a friend or acquaintance.

Opie was just the coolest cat, and so my post today is dedicated to him.

We just walked in, to grab some pounce,
And there he was,
We just walked past, ignored his meow,
And he simply stared,
We just walked on, and scanned the shelves,
And he lay down,
We just walked over, and stroked his back,
And he purred,
We just leaned down, and picked him up,
And he snuggled in,
We just looked at each other, and both said no,
And he understood,
We just went through the check out line,
And he watched us leave,
We just went back, for a second look,
And he perked up,
We just couldn't leave him there,
And he came home,
We just loved this ginger cat,
And he loved back,
We just had him with us for ten years,
And he had us,
We just couldn't bear to hear the news,
And he already knew,
We just cried and stroked and loved him up,
And he knew why,
We just wanted him to be at rest,
And he knew when,
We just didn't know when to call it quits,
And he did,
We just held his body one last time,
And he knows peace.