Letters by Kenny Mah

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We are children

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December 27, 2008

Hey you,

They say Christmas is for children, don’t they? Fortunately for us, no one ever specified an age limit. We are kids again, waiting for Santa and gifts and kisses underneath the mistletoe.

The turkey is perfect this year, cooked to perfection and carved with surgical precision. Guests that arrive gather around the dinner table, drawn by the aromas and the sights. Bread pudding with raisins and rum, a milk sauce that Boy-Boy has to avoid (warned early on about his lactose intolerance, we try to murder him every year during Yuletide), couscous and beef stew strongly simmered with sage, roasted pumpkin, a salad or two, fresh chips and a tomato-pineapple salsa, eggnog and wine and plenty of ice. More food arrives, more drinks, more wine. There is plenty this year.

We’ve got cheer in abundance; it’s time to celebrate, after all.

We play dress up. There is no dress code on the invitations (this year, sent out via Facebook, oh how time keeps passing and ploughing!) but everyone knows it’s time to look pretty and plushy. It’s time to hang loose and not fret and simply look smashing. Masks and short dresses that get shorter as the night lengthens. Shirt buttons that pop off suddenly and quick-witted hands that molest joyfully. Be careful whose rear you pat; they may pat back and miss purposefully.

Gropes and gasps, and we haven’t even started on the alcohol yet.

Perhaps it’s hard to see, that’s why. Candlelight only. Wax and flames all over the room, this palace, this party central. The music shifts from Christmas carols to Smashing Pumpkins. The late 90’s are revived; Billy Corgan is headbanging and Mr. Claus is nowhere to be seen. I guess sometimes bald rockstars are sexier than snowy beards and milky bellies.

We grin and we guffaw. You cannot possibly be too loud tonight.

Text messages with seasonal greetings start flooding in. Everyone is either on their mobile phone or getting passed one. “It’s for you,” a friend will explain, or perhaps just toss it across the room. Catch it, don’t drop it in the punch, please. It’s meant to be spiked, not splashed, you see. Someone’s already gone beyond his limit and one of us will have to spend the rest of the evening (and morning, possibly) making sure he doesn’t ruin our hostess’s new couch.

It’s not gonna be me, thankfully.

Instead, I wander the corridors and the quiet rooms, seeking the couples and the loners and the occasional orgies, observing and recording. My camera is a one-eyed phantom; they see it but they don’t. Everyone poses, however. We all do it; we have learned to, somehow, in this age of camwhoring. Everyone is a celebrity. Divas and Datins. Cowboys and angels. Purse your lips, dear, and give me a good one.

That’s it. Perfect.

Time to breathe.

I escape to the stairwell. A couple of old friends are smoking and catching up. I want some juice, some good gossip too. Tell me, tell me more. There’s nothing too nasty that we can’t monger and make more horrid. Rumors can be rather tasty. Of course, we’ll regret this the next morning when we are sober and see ourselves at our worst plastered on some exhibitionist’s blog, but for now, it makes us feel alive.

Talk, talk, talk. Laugh, laugh, laugh. There is no tomorrow.

Inside, they are about to start the games. I beg to leave, it’s late, I tell them, I have to go. No one listens. Instead I’m the first to start. Charades. Damn, I have forgotten I could pass. How on earth does one mimic a bloody porcupine? (I have forgotten how competitive I am too, it seems.) The earth rumbles with our screams and shouts and inspired guesses. (“Baby? Child? Baby? Pregnant? Pregnant… Pregnant baby! Eh, where got such thing one?”)

We are stupid and foolish and having the times of our lives.

We are children again.

Yours always and always,

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