Monday, December 27, 2004

bury me with it

For me, Christmas was over after my brother left for Orange County with his wife, on the Sunday before the 25th. For many years, I have celebrated Chanukah with my dad and Christmas with my mom. My brother was always there for both, no matter which state we happened to be celebrating them in. This year he has other obligations, a whole new family to consider. A much more religious one, as well. I knew, when he got married, that everything would be different. I realized that it is simply part of growing up, but like Peter Pan and those kids in the damned Toys R Us commercials that Jason and I grew up with, I don't want to grow up. It isn't that I mind growing old, it is simply that I am far too sentimental. That the death of traditions we created in childhood is painful to me. I have also realized that this sentimentality, to the extent that I take it, cannot be healthy.

People go away. Sometimes they move or join the army, sometimes they go forever and involuntarily. I think that when you lose a lot of people in your life, to death, you begin to live your life in one of two ways. You either become spontaneous and take no opportunity for granted, or you hold on so tightly to the things you have grown to love that you practically suffocate them and it tears you apart to let them go. A particular Modest Mouse song hit me square between the eyes the other day. A song in which the singer asks his friends to bury him with various things he's attached to, from a tired old threadbare suit to the good times that have come and gone. I suppose hearing that made me realize that I do not particularly want to be buried with those dead and gone traditions that my brother and I had formed like silly habits. So I say goodbye to the tradition of going to the theater with my brother every Christmas Day, to see the worst film in the theaters. I cannot say that I am sad to never again see the likes of Not Another Teen Movie or Dungeons and Dragons, but it was nice to have something that was ours. Maybe some day I will introduce the tradition to someone else and it can start over again.

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