Friday, December 26, 2008

when i was the antichrist

it had been planned for months, even before the metaphorical fireworks with the relatives started to kick off around bonfirenightish.

me and b (and later on, d too) were having an Orphan’s christmas at their little flat in south east london. there were two conditions: no presents, and no aggression. i looked forwards to our cosy xmash plans, and for the first time ever, anticipated a truly joyous festive period.

in mid december, b told me that her dad was coming too. as long as he had whisky, he’d be a pussycat. i relished the idea of meeting where she came from. she seemed a little nervous, in an ‘he’s a grumpy bugger but he’s alright really’ way, as though she really hoped it would all go well.

i ended up winding my way to her house on christmas eve, about seven o’clock. i’d spent the day with my pregnant friend, helping her nest, blitzing the kitchen and pottering around with cups of tea and crass records. i went back to east dulwich to find that my neighbour had got my amazon package waiting for me. i’d had some money for the first time in ages, and spent it in an afternoon flat. a bottle of laphroigh, three books (with the ‘deliver tomorrow’ postage option), some makeup, some brazil nuts and a week’s bus pass.

i left from peckham rye, people ambling past my stop laden with carrier bags and santa hats. except i got the wrong bus, figuring that i’d explore my way to new cross.

i got off at telegraph hill park, thinking i might have a scamper around and look at the sights. and then thought better of it – wandering round a park on your own at night may well be romantic but isn’t always the safest path to choose. with my shoes in my bag and my docs aircushioning me, i pendulum-walked to the train station, headphones on and hips swinging, and sat in an almost empty carriage.

i got to new cross gate in minutes, waited for b in the hobgoblin. i had exactly enough change on me to get a pint. she arrived, we hugged and sparkled at each other, quickly drank and launched ourselves into the cold night.

her dad looked like the type of person i’ve met many times. he smiled a lot. we shared some bells. i congratulated him on his daughter. my sister and i frocked up and waltzed around the living room to gentle music. i blissed out.

then i realised there was a silence, the sort that stuns.

b’s dad said, again, “she’s wrong. get her the fuck out of here”

from this point onwards i don’t remember much. apart from holding b, and getting her into the next room where she was safe.

i woke up the next morning, curled up like wolves with my friends, feeling the full effects of overwhisky, and made tea.

b came in and apologised for the night before. i told her it was fine. she replied that being punched is never fine, and she couldn’t be sorry enough.

her dad had a psychotic episode, and thought i was the antichrist.

he punched me, and then d.

we threw him out immediately.

i slept better that night than i have in weeks.

the three of us had the most perfect christmas day ever. we spent it with our family.


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