Jay took the last of my coke. Alright I said it, still doesn't help
me. Now how will I get through this holiday charade known as Christmas
Eve? Uncle Jay is standing across the room staring at the over decorated
tree with glazed eyes and a cocaine induced grin. I wish he would
die this instant.
feet away is a speaker blaring Christmas music that sounds like
Barry Manilow, but I'm not sure. To be safe I begin walking across
the room toward Uncle Jay; balancing my Jack on the rocks in my
right hand as I maneuver past an ill placed holiday basket containing
ten thousand nut variations. I approach a small table where Jake
and Pete are playing Black Jack. Every year another piercing appears
on Jake's face. This year it's the left eye brow. It's one of many
family secrets in the open that no one talks about.
and Pete are discussing what girl would cause the biggest stir if
she were to appear in a pornographic movie. Pete quickly says "Britney
Spears" and he is so proud of his answer he hits on eighteen,
predictably busting in the process. Jerry seems content with the
answer, but not very impressed as if he was anticipating Pete's
response. Jerry pauses for dramatic effect and then says "Jessica
Simpson", then adds "The shock value alone". This
response draws an agreeing nod from Pete.
form of a concession speech.
continue past, taking a drink in the process, resisting the urge
to yell out the correct answer because this would cause quite a
Jay is standing alone when he spots me moving toward him. He smiles
smugly causing me to get angry and trip over Aunt Carol's new Gucci
put my hand in my coat pocket and feel the empty cellophane bag.
Nothing. Less than a hour ago Uncle Jay borrowed my coat to go smoke
a Lucky Strike and now my coke is gone. Aunt Carol looks up at me
as I continue balancing my drink, but she doesn't seem to mind that
I kicked her bag because this gives her a chance to show everyone
her new bag, for the third time this evening. A fifteen hundred
dollar purse with less than twenty dollars inside.
watch this travesty as Aunt Carol tells the story of how she saw
it and had to have it and then I turn my head because there's movement
across the room where little Todd, my three year old cousin, is
pulling on the tree causing ornaments to fall off. Uncle Jay just
stands there laughing.
Aunt Joyce jumps out of her seat to announce that she's making Bloody
Mary's. Not any ordinary drink, these are made with Aunt Joyce special
ingredients she stores in a leather case, stowed in the trunk of
Carol's display has started an accessories fashion show. Now Aunt
Sharon has to sit up and display her bright red Marc Jacobs bag,
smiling proudly as if it were a child. Tabitha, a friend of the
family (so I'm told), giggles when everyone looks at her asking
her to show them her bag. Although reluctant at first, a confidence
beams out of her as she grabs her new gold Fendi bag. A hush falls
over the room until Aunt Carol asks "Is it fake?" Tabitha
quickly replies saying, "No, it's real, isn't it great?",
followed by Aunt Carol reiterating that "Well, it still could
be a fake. You never know."
Joyce returns with her Bloody Mary, sits, and takes a big drink.
finish my Jack on the rocks. Aunt Joyce quickly notices my empty
glass, stands up and runs to the kitchen to fetch me another one
before I can say a word. I stand there waiting, my head spinning
from the six drinks and two grams I've consumed today.
cell phone is vibrating so I answer it and it's Jackson, my friend
who's in town for the holidays and he wants to know what I'm doing
tonight. I explain the family situation and the Barry Manilow and
then he tells me I'm creeping him out so I stop. Jackson asks if
I want to go out later and that sounds tempting, but then I find
out he's out of coke so we decide not do anything because it really
wouldn't be that fun.
look back at Pete and Jerry, Pete is still trying to think of someone
to top Jerry's pick, but he's at a loss for the obvious. Next to
them my nieces Jill and Candy are playing with a scarf, throwing
it high into the air and crashing into each other as it falls down.
Aunt Joyce comes back with a fresh drink for me and a brandy chaser
for herself. She has something white under her nose which makes
me think she just did a line, but then notice it's not powder, rather
foam from egg nog she was probably drinking in the kitchen.
to walk toward Uncle Jay, I have a clear path until Carl, my brother
in law, stops me and asks me what I'm driving. I tell him "Same
Nissaan" which doesn't matter because he's not listening, but
rather waiting to tell me about his truck, the new F150. He asks
me if I want to see it, and I tell him I saw it last year and then
he tells me that last year he was driving the F110, not the F150.
A Lionel Ritchie song starts playing on the radio so immediately
Aunt Sharon goes over to Grandma and starts rocking her back and
forth. Little Todd is pulling on Grandma's leg, Aunt Sharon continues
to rock her back and forth and Grandma is shooting darts out of
her eyes at anyone watching. This is enough of a distraction to
walk past Carl.
I approach Uncle Jay and I tell him "We need to talk."
but hey first can you see if you have any gum in your jacket? I
think I may have left some in there when I borrowed your jacket."
Right. I put my hand in my pocket and there's nothing buy the empty
check the other one." He says.
put my hand in my left pocket, finding a half pack of gum and another
bag, my bag of cocaine. I let out a visible sigh and hand over the
you okay?" Uncle Jay asks.
look across the room. Aunt Carol is now holding Tabitha's Fendi
bag and shaking her head, Grandma is kicking at Todd in an attempt
to get him to go away, and Pete has a perplexed look on his face.
I'm okay." I say. "I guess."
what did you want to talk about?" Asks Uncle Jay.
I pause and take a drink of Jack Daniels. "It was nothing.
Merry Christmas." I hold up my glass and then realize he doesn't
have a drink.
both stare for a minute at the family and chaos ensuing.
got some coke." Says Uncle Jay.
I'm just saying, if you want
past Pete I lean down and whisper "Olsen Twins" into his
ear. His face brightens as he hears the words, knowing that in a
minute he will be able to show up his cousin, and once again be
on top. Uncle Jay and I leave the room and head to the bathroom,
humming a Lionel Ritchie Christmas song along the way.