I’m in the Smile Business

January 3rd, 2007

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Ben, are you there? Or did you get stuck in the past? IN LAST YEAR?

That’s right, it’s ‘07 now. Sorry about the long hiatus, but I’ve been doing a whole lot of nothing that couldn’t be interrupted. I did Christmas in Boston, which is like Christmas in Virginia thanks to global warming. Hot, gross rain. And I ain’t talkin’ about the golden showers you seem so fond of.

But it was a fine vacation. I wired my car up with Christmas lights, which I haven’t done in the while. It was great, ridin’ down that old lonely highway to Massachusetts, seeing people laugh and give me the thumbs up just for plugging some lights in. It’s swell. I may be a web designer by day, but really, I’m in the Smile Business. It was a pretty standard Christmas eve with my family. Covered a tree in LEDs and then watched It’s A Wonderful Life on laser disc. I am not kidding.

Sweet merciful Christ, it’s hard to get back in the groove on these things. Writing you a letter used to come a freeeeeeee as a biiirrrdd noooowwww, but now it totally blows. It’s not coming naturally — no, don’t deny it — it’s forced. But I have to keep writing Benjamin. I need to get this all out so I can get back to my core feelings. They’re in there somewhere. They’re not trapped in the past. Speaking of, the weirdest thing so far about ‘07 is that, in my heart, it feels like it’s been ‘07 for months already. I’ve been writing it effortlessly on checks, hospital forms and pardons, thank you cards and R.S.V.P’s with “NO!!!” scrawled large on them and their envelopes. It’s weird, and I wonder what it says about my character, about my age. “Another year? Sure! Keep ‘em comin!” Ugh. Teenage me would kill me. Or write a poem about me and hide in the closet with all the gym mats and cry, something I did on my 18th birthday.

Sorry, I’m always awkward in the weeks following a solstice.

Yours,
Charlie

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