26 Dec 2013

Another Year (1/7)

"...and we hope you had a fantastic Christmas yesterday! Viewers have been sending in photos and videos on our Facebook page, showing how they spent Christmas with their friends and family..."

The television crackled and flashed colours into Harold's eyes. Only after a while did he recognise the colours to be of the daily morning talk show host. He was too lazy to sit up from his tattered leather couch to watch from a more comfortable distance. He didn't care that the beer bottle was partially obstructing his view. He didn't mind the stench of cigarettes and alcohol and chocolate and popcorn swirling in the apartment. He didn't give a crap about the fact that he hadn't been anywhere out for Christmas.

In fact he'd completely given up on Christmas altogether. Not even as the jolly non-religious merry-maker that he could've been, let alone the religious devout that he used to be, rejoicing and remembering the day that the Saviour was born, the Lord who sacrificed himself for their sins. After all the bloody misfortune that he'd been through, how could he still hold on to his belief of a god that loved him so?

"...and coming up, we'll also have a special performance by a band formed by a few guys who first met during - guess what - a mountain climb! They'll do a rendition of a popular Christmas song, after we have a quick chat with them on the couch..."

Harold heaved air out of his nose. Looked like the Christmas air was still around. And Christmas air wasn't going to fill his stomach on this cold morning. The cigarettes might do the trick, but only for a few minutes. He had to scour for edible food.

"...so we all know how Christmas is the season of giving, as well as eating, am I right? Well here are some tips that you can take to get you back in shape for the arrival of 2014, so you don't feel too miserable at the start of the year!"

"Too late, lady, I'm way past miserable already," Harold muttered, crouching over to probe deeper into his fridge. Hidden behind cartons of juice and milk, and bottles of alcoholic beverages, lay a small unopened box of Chinese take-out fried rice. It certainly fit the criteria of edible food, so he popped it in that cranky old grey box that was supposed to be a microwave machine.

"...well it was kinda funny, I was just expecting to make small talk with these other guys while we rested at the nearby diner, and it turned out they were also looking to form a small music act together. So we all thought, what the heck, why not we come together and be the band? It'll certainly save time and money trying to put up ads looking for potential band members-"

The microwave whined out a pitiful beep. Harold popped it open and retrieved the now warm box, grabbed a spoon, and started eating. Not too bad considering how long it's been in the fridge, he thought.

His hand reached for the remote control, but then stopped halfway. What was the point? All the channels were all showing Christmas or Boxing Day specials. It was all the same everywhere. And going out would be worse, with all the remnants of decorations and songs still right in his face no matter where he went.

He might as well stay here. Just remain as a lonely miser, dying away in his small apartment.