Friday, December 20, 2013

Happy Holidays

As always with my wonderful Indonesian Internet provider, Smartfren is down in perfect coincidence with my particular need to use the internet. These downtimes are somehow in careful concert with such occasions. So, here I am at Starbucks in Sanur, using their internet instead. Which of course costs at least 31,000 Rupiah (for the 'tall'). So I pay the fee for the internet that doesn't work along with the price of the coffee. Add to this the fact that it pissed down rain all the way from Biaung, and you get a not-so-happy camper.

Oh well, I'm here now. Wet, but here. And I've addressed the necessary emails and last-minute magazine edits. The Starbucks Christmas carols are playing and the street outside is bustling under a light rain, with headlights winking off the wet streets at the lighted shop windows, a few of which actually sport Christmas trees with their own twinkling lights. Almost like Christmas. But not really.

I am told, by the wife, that we will go to Ayu Yan's house for Christmas and that I am to dress as Santa Claus for the benefit of her two little girls, whose names I do not know (and had, perhaps, better learn). Ho, ho, ho.

Well, it doesn't matter. Christmas here is truly just another day. We have no tree, no lights, no presents, no mistletoe, no pumpkin pie, no figgy pudding and certainly no snow.

Friday, December 6, 2013

You Don't Bring Me Flowers

The eternal divide. You don't bring me flowers, you don't sing me love songs.

The wife had been moody, distant, silent, angry. I'm wondering, 'What's wrong? What happened?' I'm trying to cover all the bases. Have I worked hard enough? Have I forgotten a significant date? Did I say or do something hurtful? Or has she found someone else? Is she struggling with conflicting emotions?

Life, it seems, had been going along just fine -- just regular, just normal, just the usual.

Well, of course, that's just it. The invisible 'it', from the man's perspective. Who knew?

You don't bring me flowers anymore. I kiss you, but you never kiss me. You roll over and go to sleep.

No matter what else you had done -- no matter what daily cares routinely addressed, tasks accomplished, issues put in order -- it doesn't matter.

You've forgotten to send flowers. You've forgotten to hold her hand. You've forgotten to kiss her hello and goodbye.

Who would have thought that life's little troubles come with such an easy fix?