Thursday 24 December 2009 – CHRISTMAS EVE
After a disturbed night of sleep I wake up fidgety once more today. A few years ago I would have mistaken this for excitement but this year I sense it is the fear. I think subconsciously my impending rejection for a third consecutive Christmas Eve Massacre is causing me to ask real questions of both myself and my apparently/evidently dwindling friendships.
Despite this I leave early today in the hope of snagging a decent parking space away from the terrifying black ice at the station. It is the small things that get you through. As I leave our complex we still have a fair bit of black ice of our own. The black ice at the station really is disgusting though it genuinely felt like I was step out onto a pond last night. Perhaps I should park on it and when I inevitably slip and hurt myself then maybe I should sought legal action and sue NCP for their lacklustre maintenance of the car park. Really for all the fucking money they get out of me for my parking space surely as a gesture of goodwill they could get somebody in to grit/salt the parking lot. The corporate world fucks the working man yet again.
In the end at the station I board the 6.45AM Norwich train to London. Ordinarily I wouldn’t be possible to get a seat on this train but today it is sparse, full of the many other poor saps having to trawl into work on Christmas Eve also. For a second year running there is no need for us to go in and do this half day, ultimately my travelling will eventually probably prove as long as my actual time in the office. Where is the logic in that?
I arrive into London just after 7.30AM with it still dark outside and suddenly proceedings appear to resemble a bad Christmas movie. Trudging across London on the tube today I feel thoroughly depressed. There is no pay off for this.
The tube from Baker Street to St Johns Wood further resembles a Fellini movie as seats are aplenty and faces sparse as the expressions that exist emit a resounding sense of defeat.
Stepping into work today there are already a few bodies in despite this being the earliest time yet I have arrived at the restaurant. Slowly people gradually turn up and with it some degree of cheer. For the bosses however today is business as usual as something appears to be going down with regards to the bank. From my perspective however today just represents an obstacle to Christmas for me.
For a second year running we have not been paid a Christmas bonus. This is the first company in my fourteen year career that does not bother with this gesture of goodwill. As a result one of the first things I do today is to dig out that scene from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation where Clark finds out he’s been screwed out of a Christmas bonus and I post the clip to my Facebook profile.
Despite it being Christmas Eve annoyingly my boss still nags at The Girl today. For the longest time this really got to her and caused bad feeling but thankfully it calmed down. Unfortunately though it still does occur from time to time and annoyingly today is one of them.
Things pick up slight as some chocolates appear and begin to do the rounds. Happily I tear into them, comfort eating as I just cannot be bothered to actually do any real work out of some kind of protest spirit/theory/mentality.
Later on Radio One Scott Mills wheels out his Editors’ Christmas Album spoof which is comedy genius.
Eventually we do the Secret Santa thing and everyone is happy. The IT guy got me in the draw and came with a copy of Waltz With Bashir on DVD, which is a pretty good gift.
The Girl leaves at 11AM given an early escape after offering to work New Years Eve. As things head towards midday our boss comes in and begins discussing plans for next week. Suddenly things pick up as plans change to us just having to cover one day each, which definitely suits me. Things eventually pan out with me having to come in next Wednesday meaning that a decent break will be experienced by all this year.
Finally we get to leave at 12.30PM as I get held up leaving getting caught in conversation with people discussing Christmas plans. After a swift tube journey across town I eventually board the 1.30PM Norwich train bidding good riddance to London for a week and a half.
This train is littered with tags on top of seats representing bookings. I still can’t get with the booking seats thing on trains, very few people stick to it and ultimately it is such a nuisance, especially to professional travellers (commuters).
Luckily I find a seat though as every backward arse fuck with luggage seems intent on squeezing into this train home. Two large old fat Americans prove to be the worst example as common sense just flies out of the window causing minor havoc.
Elsewhere on the train a half attractive lady sits to my left and when she makes a phone call I hear her commenting (to her mother it would seem) about a rash she has. As I begin to imagine it being on her fanny suddenly I notice it on her left hand and good god it is a disgusting thing, something akin to a serious burn. Up until this point I had quite fancied her but imagining that claw thing gripping any part of my being suddenly fills me with repulse.
On cue the train returns to Colchester around 2.30PM and with it comes an enormous sense of relief to be almost back home. As I exit the train I spot Lulu from Butt Road and eventually we can’t avoid each other so I get into a brief nonversation with her.
Gingerly driving my way out of the station car park I head directly for my parents place with view to going into town and snagging some last minute shopping while also in the hope of bumping into somebody and maybe doing drinks that absolutely nobody appears interested in doing.
That said people are supposedly going out tonight as Mark sadly confirmed on Friday that for a third year running the Christmas Eve Massacre is going to occur as the arse bandit I did Gringo Records with apparently monopolises proceedings.
Stepping into my parents this afternoon comes coupled with slipping on the pathway outside their apartment. As I do so their chain smoking neighbour makes comment to the extent which pretty much causes me to slip further. Fuck her.
Once inside their crib the dog reacts happy to see me as dad informs me that mum is currently in town herself. The effort these guys make.
Around 3PM I head into town to do some last minute shopping. Due to the snow and my lack of enthusiasm realistically I haven’t managed to buy very much in the way of gifts for the Christmas, definitely not enough to justify a day of good feeling.
Quite frankly I shouldn’t have bothered. In a way I head into town with the hope of bumping into people accidentally on purpose and this does indeed happen when I bump into Jackie from back in the day. Now I can remember exactly the last time this happened, it was five years ago while I was unemployed from my blogging exploits. It was excruciating back then too.
Today is particularly annoying. When I see her she is stood outside the bakery on her own and to be honest had she not clocked me I would have ignored her. Briefly we exchange nice nice and then suddenly her kid and div husband emerge from inside the bakery. As ever she asks me if I see anyone from YT college anymore. What people from nearly 15 years ago that I really didn’t like? OK, I have to concede that I am friends with a couple of them on Facebook now but this is only because I fancied them. Sadly being from Clacton they are now saddled with kids even if they have maintained their looks.
At this point Jackie’s kid begins tugging at my coat and asking me stupid questions such as “what’s my name?”, “what’s my mum’s name?”, “what’s your name?” Fucking hell the kid really has a thing for names.
We walk along chatting for a bit and as we near Superdrug I make my excuses just as the kid (Jordan) begins asking me more questions. Really, that was not somebody I wanted to be seeing at this time. Memories of her blowing me out two too many times still rankle and jar my memory.
Happily I manage to find the perfume mum wants for Christmas in Co-op. I knew that if anywhere would have it in Colchester it would be this shop. Basically this is the perfume that I used to buy mum with my pocket money when I was ten years old. Perhaps we/she should look into some kind of new, different and exciting scent but such is a trait that I have inherited myself, we stick with what we know in our family.
As I head into Waterstones to look at some books the miracle of Christmas occurs as one of the ladies working in there smiles at me. Perhaps it didn’t be a blue Christmas after all.
From here I queue up and get myself a Christmas Starbucks. At first I ask for an eggnog latte but being late in the day they have run out of mixture so in the end I have to settle for whatever they’ve got. Still, gotta love that Starbucks in whatever form.
With drink in hand I head back to the olds feeling down that there is nobody to hang out with tonight or at this time. Soon it becomes more and more apparent that the third Christmas Eve Massacre is surely destined to occur.
After snagging some dinner at my parents I head home with view to doing some writing on Christmas. Dickens couldn’t write this.
At 8.45PM I receive a text message from Chris asking me if I am out. Is he taking the piss or something? I respond curtly, asking him where he is. The answer turns out to be some place I have never heard of. I don’t bother replying to this, tonight everyone can go fuck themselves. If they’re out on the piss on Christmas Eve I hope they all get drunk and have steaming hangovers for Christmas Day. Such is life.
Not long after this I head to bed to watch TV and welcome in Christmas Day in my own way – bitterly.