withered // wilted
When I was a very small girl I got a Barbie for my birthday. I was too young to have it. I remember being completely indignant that my mother wouldn’t let me play with it until I was 5. They were all blond. One of them had hair down to her knees – she was my absolute favorite. The year I got the convertible, I can remember the exact placement of our false Christmas tree in the family room. To the right of the window, to the left of the buffet table, we always had to move at least one piece of furniture to get everything to fit. My fathers’s pine entertainment center was opposite the tree. I used to sit by the stereo speakers in the Fall and Winter listening to the Christmas music. I would just sit, cross legged on the floor in front of the speaker reading books or thinking. All of this before I was 10. After I got my first American Girl doll (God bless those people, by the way, even if all the girls are girly) I insisted on practicing the tradition of St. Lucia day, where I dressed up in white and put a green Christmas wreath around my head and served cinnamon rolls by candle light. I did that 3 or 4 years in a row. I insisted! When we were little, my brother and I had a secret tradition where we would put blankets down on the floor in his closet and sleep in there together on Christmas Eve. Our tradition now is to sleep in as late as possible. This is going to be our first Christmas apart, if he doesn’t show up at my Grandma’s house. My mom’s not coming here for the holidays. I guess the only person I really want to see this Christmas is my Dad. I know everyone who celebrates it loves Christmas, but both of my parents really love/d Christmas. My dad would take us out looking at Christmas lights in the suburbs a few miles away. Our favorite displays were the ones with moving figures. There’s a street in my town that has canopy branches, and for years – 20 at least – this whole row of houses was lit up. It’s really very beautiful.
This year I have the top half of that discarded false tree standing… leaning, rather, in my living room. 2 presents are under it so far – one for my brother and one for one of my best friends. I have a string of white LED lights hanging from my mini blinds in the bedroom. The iPod keeps playing Christmas music when I put it on shuffle, as if it knows it’s December. It’s already December.
I feel like I can’t keep up with the times. It doesn’t feel like Christmas yet, and I want to snuggle up with my dad in a blanket and drink cider. He had a reclining chair, and he would sit in it with the two of us (one on either side) all cozy in a blanket to watch TV, to read, just to be.
I think that is why, without touch, I wither away.
Lacking touch, I wilt.