The Angel's Mother - Chris at Christmas
About a year later...
Christmas is such a heartbreakingly lonely time.
Many if not most believe the Paxil Diaries are fiction. I can't blame them; my whole life has been pretty unbelievable. This one will likely not be believed by anyone at all, but it's true nonetheless.
I had met Kim and Vickie and their sister Valerie a month or two earlier at George Rank’s, a bar I frequent often, one that more women my age go to than any other bar in town I know. I was the only one there when they came in.
Valerie was almost anorexicly thin, and I had been smitten. I'm a fool for skinny women.
This was yet another unwritten and unbelievable Paxil story. Valerie was very, very attractive and somehow, I'm not exactly sure how, she wound up with her legs draped over my lap very pleasantly, with me massaging them.
“Steve sure is smiling big,” Vickie said to Kim.
“Of course he is,” Kim said, “Valerie has her legs on his dick!”
Valerie said she had a tumor, and gave me her Saint Jude medal. Saint Jude is the Catholic saint of hopeless causes; I know this from the movie The Untouchables. So fitting, my loneliness was hopeless indeed. I’d long ago given up ever finding a girlfriend, or even getting laid.
I was sure I was finally going to get lucky, until the bar owner came in and the three abandoned me for the monied man. I had yet again gone home alone after having my hopes raised high. I found out later that Dave wasn't the least interested in any of them.
But this isn't the story of the three lovely ladies, I digress. Sorry, I'm bad about that. Back to the Angel's mother...
The Angel's mother gave me back one of my most important possessions, one that had been stolen from me.
When a man's wife cheats on him, it is a wound that is hard to heal. It rips and tears his self confidence, leaving his soul in tatters. The first time the Evil-X cheated on me was barely into the second year of our marriage. Despite the pain and wounds to my soul, I forgave her.
By the time all that was left of the wound was a scar, by the time I had managed to repair the rips and tears to my self confidence and self esteem, she did it again.
It happened over and over. By the time the marriage ended twenty seven years later, my soul had no more flesh left, only scars. My self confidence was in horrible ragged tatters. I took Paxil and drank far too much.
The Paxil took away the pain of my soul like morphine takes away the pain of a flesh wound. But like morphine, the Paxil has its downside and I gave it up a year and a half later, and bore the pain as the wounds to my soul healed naturally.
A year after the Paxil stopped, my tattered confidence was still tattered. A very young woman stitched a few threads of my esteem back by asking me out. I met her at a Posamist show at the late Eleven West, and she called me the next day. No, there is no use looking at the Paxil diaries for the story as I didn't write that one either.
She saw me not as a prospective lover but as a prospective friend, and our relationship has been a platonic one, even though I would gladly lay her down if she wished. But that friendship restored my confidence enough to at least ask a woman on a date, and although she may feel as she's using me, helping heal my tattered soul was worth far more than the money I loaned her that I don't expect to get back.
She restored a few threads of my confidence, a gift that was invaluable. Gifts for the soul are worth more than Bill Gates' entire fortune. I was finally well enough to ask a woman on a date.
No real date materialized, but the women I asked were kind in their rejections. Most gave excuses; one said yes then stood me up, giving the lame excuse that she was too old to go to a rock show and besides, was afraid of being hurt again, as she had been through two bad marriages and feared heartbreak more than she feared loneliness. One was going through a divorce and promised she'd go out with me when it was final; we'll see, I guess.
And then one night last summer, there was a woman I had worked with who moonlighted as a bartender. I asked her out.
She laughed in my face.
The tattered threads of self confidence I had worked so hard to regain were completely ripped away. I could no longer get up the nerve to ask anyone out again. I was resigned to loneliness, a forlorn life free of sex and companionship. My flesh ached for flesh, but I couldn't bear the possibility of such cruelty again.
Christmas eve day I visited family at my sister's house (she's a grandma now) with my oldest daughter, and that evening sat alone in my little apartment feeling sorry for myself. I was in misery, and I prayed to God for my loneliness to be lifted.
No sooner than I said “amen” than the phone rang. It was my young platonic girl friend, and she was lonely, too. We decided to go out and have a few drinks, and I picked her up and went to one of her haunts, a bar where she knew everyone but I knew nobody. I had some fun nevertheless, and my loneliness was lifted, my prayer answered.
Yes, unbelievable but true. Miracles happen.
Christmas day I watched “Jesus Of Nazareth” on the History Channel, alone in my little apartment. My youngest daughter hadn't been able to attend the family Christmas the day before because she had to work 12 hours, and came by and exchanged hugs and presents later in the afternoon. She brought reggae, the blues, and Jerry Lee Lewis on CD, Cream's farewell concert on DVD, and the guitar strings I had asked for. She was thrilled with the new Nintendo DS I bought for her. It turns out that her boyfriend has one, and they can now play video games together with the Nintendo's wireless link.
She left for work, and as I was listening to Lightning Hopkins and Bob Marley I got the lonely blues again. I had been reminded by the History Channel that Jesus had said not to pray for stuff, because God knows what you need before you do, so I said the Lord's prayer. I then decided to go out and find a place where I wouldn't be so alone.
I went to George Rank's, about the only bar open, and there tending the bar was the woman who had laughed in my face.
I wasn't exactly nice to her. The owner was there, and we told blond jokes with another fellow who had a list of them in his pocket.
The cruel bartender had been a blond before her hair went gray. This was pretty gratifying to me, as you might imagine.
Then my phone rang. It was my oldest daughter; her TV had quit, she wanted her nerd father to come over and see what I could do about it. I left for Chatham, got her TV going, and searched for somewhere to buy dinner. No room at the inn? Hell, they were all closed for Christmas. I went back to the bar I had been drinking and laughing in earlier.
As I pulled in, an attractive young woman and two men were getting into the car in the space next to mine to leave.
I went inside, and the stool I had been sitting in was still empty. There was a woman named Chris I had known at that bar for a couple of years sitting there by herself. When I had seen her before, she was always with someone. Her ex husband, or her boyfriend; one of the two.
Chris was likely a beauty in her youth, before she lost all her teeth. But she was still thin and short, with pretty brown (probably dyed brown) hair, and I'm a fool for thin short women, as I think I said before. I'm also a fool for women who don't wear makeup.
She was wearing no makeup, and was crying.
Chris has some mental and emotional problems, and hadn't been taking her medication. Her live-in boyfriend's children were driving her crazy “running around the house nekkid” and she had needed to get out. I wiped her tears, and actually had her laughing at one point.
She was about fed up with the boyfriend, a fellow twenty years her junior who had no job, who was leeching off of her and who she was about to throw out “after the holidays.”
We talked some more, and she said she had always thought I was married, as when I'd go to the bar I'd drink one or two beers and leave. “Do you think I'm pretty?” she asked.
She told me she was attracted to me the first time she saw me, and I asked if she would let me buy her dinner the next day. She'd love to!
The bar phone rang, and Nellie the mean old bartender yelled “Chris?”
It was Chris' daughter, who wanted her to come home. “She's coming here,” Chris said, disappointed.
A few minutes later the woman I had seen leaving as I got there came in. It was Chris' daughter. Chris introduced me her daughter, Angel.
I bought Yaeger Bombs for Angel and myself and we toasted her mother, who was drinking draft. I bought Chris another beer, and one for me, and we all talked. Chris had a skin infection on her hands and hadn't been able to wash her hair in a couple of days. Angel had planned to do it for her mother the next day, and they were going to get their pictures taken.
I told Angel of the date I had made with her mother, and promised to get her mother home safely when we were done at the bar. Angel and I exchanged phone numbers, as Chris had no cell phone. She was to call me when they were done with the festivities, and I told Chris if I didn't hear from her by six I was just going to show up at her house.
I promised Angel again that I'd get her mother home safely, and she left after a second bomb.
Kim and Vickie came in. The bar was filling up. I got a bag of peanuts, as the kitchen was closed for Christmas of course.
I had looked the Saint Jude medallion up on the internet, and found that it was worth twenty or thirty dollars. I didn't feel like I could accept a gift like that from someone I had just met, and tried to get Vickie (or was it Kim?) to give it back to Valerie for me.
She said I couldn't give it back, but I could give it to someone else.
I gave it to Chris. I thought she needed it more than I did.
Kim and Vickie and Chris and I talked, and Kim turned out to be a beautician. She put makeup on Chris' face and put her hair in a young style pony tail. My hand was resting on the back of Chris' chair, and at one point my hand was lodged between Chris' and Vickie's breasts.
Heaven on earth! I certainly had good will to all God's creatures at that moment! God, but what a merry Christmas it was! I wasn't even mad at mean old Nellie any more, who was getting increasingly angered at my attitude to her, but what in the hell did she expect? In my heart I forgave the heartless old bitch. Hell, if Evil-X had walked in I might have even been pleasant to her.
I had a wonderful time, and when last call came, none of us could believe it was so late. Chris and I got in my old junker, and it was cold in there. We snuggled up, and kissed passionately.
As I drove her home I told her that I hadn’t had sex in three years, and she didn't believe me. “Three years? What, are you gay?”
I pulled up in front of her house, and we sat in the car and kissed goodnight. And I won't go into more detail about what else.
But at the verge of sinning on Christmas, God sent Angel out to the car.
Yes, I went home alone yet again. Alone, but happy.
I’d finally found a girlfriend.