I arrived in Georgia this afternoon to spend the next ten days with my family.
“Ten days?! That’s SO long!” You might say.
Ha Ha, dear reader. You just may be right but it is so, it is so.
“But Jeffery! Won’t you miss fun holiday parties, the chance to see ‘Nine’ this weekend instead of next, Christmas concerts and shows, and your drunk friends wearing red sweaters?!”
YES! Dear reader. I will. But I am happily home, sitting here in the ole house…. the last one to go to bed and it’s just now 11PM. The house is quiet and still in a way that’s always freaked me out, even as a kid. There’s literally no sounds so the creaking of a floor board or a chirp outside sends shivers down my spine.
I’ve always gotten a strange supernatural vibe around this house. We only had one supernatural experience over the fifteen or so years we’ve lived here…. it happened within the first week that we moved in, it didn’t happen to me, and there was a sense of closure about the experience. My Mom was up early and she was making coffee before she forced my sister and I out of our beds for Toaster Strudels…. and she walked into the kitchen and right before she turned on the light, her attention was caught by a female looking figure standing in the corner of the room, there was a blueish aura surrounding the figure and as my mom turned on the light, the figure disappeared. It freaked her out and when we called the previous owner to describe what the figure looked like, he told her the description sounded like his mother, who had built the house back in the twenties. Apparently the day she died he was running out the backdoor of the house to go to the hospital and felt an overwhelming burst of energy flash past him and he knew then and there that her spirit had returned to the house she’d built from the ground up. My mom has always believed that the appairition in the kitchen that early Monday morning was this woman’s final moment of making sure the right people had taken over her place before she moved on…. perhaps to another world, perhaps to just vanish into the universe, or reincarnate into a guenie pig, or whatever it is that happens or maybe my mom imagined the whole thing….. either way, I’ve always felt a slight air of spookiness about this house, especially at this hour of the night….. after everyone else has gone to sleep.
Tonight, my mom and I watched our old VHS copy of ‘Home Alone 2’ in the living room next to the Christmas tree. It was pretty perfect. ‘Home Alone 2’ (and ‘Home Alone’ the original flavor) is one of my favorite Christmas movies if not one of my favorite movies of all time. I mentioned it in a blog earlier in the week and I suspect I’ll mention it again before the holiday season is over…. I guess I didn’t realize it but that movie really is the thesis of pretty much all my feelings surrounding the holiday season. I feel a strong connection to it…. a lot of that having to do with being just a few years younger than crafty ole Kevin McCallister himself…. but even more so I think what I really connect with is the mother/son relationship. It’s very real (did I just say that? I did, fuckers) and moving. You get such a sense of what they don’t say to each other and what they do….. the movie begins with their arguing, and before the airport sequence they have that wonderful scene upstairs….. in it, they want to say a lot of things to each other, about how they feel, what they want, what they need but they don’t…. instead…. they say a lot of other things and argue about other silly things to be bugged about.
I saw ‘Our Town’ again this week and was again super moved…. there’s a moment in the play where Emily realizes that in our lives, we so rarely take a moment to really look at each other….. all this stuff is going on and we so rarely see any of it. I’ve been very concious of this today, with my mom, with my sister, and everyone else…. trying to study it all…. take it all in. But tonight, when Kevin and his mother had their big scene, the one I obsessed over in my blog from a couple days ago by the Rockefellar Christmas tree….. when he says “I’m sorry” and she says “I’m sorry too” and they’re both, incredibly, intensely, beyond words happy to have each other….. and more so most of us every do…. really really seeing each other…. I found myself crying, a lot….. and I was pretty sure I could hear my mom doing the same but in that moment, despite my better ambitions, I couldn’t look….. I tried really hard but I couldn’t…. I don’t think I’m strong enough for that….. maybe one day.
Emily realizes this whole looking at each other thing too late…. and I think most of us probably do too…. because it just seems so hard….. but I’m really gonna try to this week. You should too.