Christmas in December

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December 24, 1998

I didn't bring any photos with me for my year in Korea. I'd made many contacts on the internet since then and wrote so much about myself, so when I returned to the states I scanned some photos from our photo albums. Miimii and I needed to divide the spoils of our marriage anyway, so I scanned the best photos for myself. Then I emailed them to my buddies around the world with a short narrative just to prove I was a 'real' person at one time. I found it very healing to connect again with my past and fill in the holes. It was so much fun I emailed over 300 narratives over the course of two years. This website is the result.

On December 20, Miimii was upset because she'd given me some things to use in my new apartment. I hadn't returned them, (she never asked me to) and she was rude about it. Being sensitive at the time, I dropped them off at her door and as I left I asked,"Do you know what today is? It's the first anniversary of when I started hating you", remembering the year before when she completely stopped communication with me in Korea--it made me feel free to express hostility towards her when I felt it, something I didn't do in the marriage.

On December 22, I drove to Indiana for Christmas. While passing through Afton, Virginia, I shot these photos of Alexandria atop a mountain off the Blue Ridge Parkway, just above the Afton Inn. To the rear, you can see Skyline Drive heading north...ain't she sweet?

Christmas was forgetable, although I did write a poem for my father called the Paul Pirouette, framed it, and gave it to Mom. When she opened the present and read it, she cried, and Darrel and Brenda had no idea what it was. She put it on permanent display next to photos of Dad.

I got to see Cameron, my nephew, again. I never warmed up to him, and he was still in diapers. I remembered how Miimii told me she'd divorced me because my sister got pregnant. I'd never been crazy about children, and it took me a while to feel comfortable around them.

Hi, I'm Alexandria and I'm worth it>>>

On Christmas Eve I wanted a photo of my mother, my brother Darrel, my sister Brenda, and myself, standing around my father's empty chair in the living room. We hadn't taken a family photo since before he died in 1996. Darrel didn't want to use an empty chair--he wanted to put a stuffed Penguin in the chair. My vision for the photo was different, but then Darrel and his wife, Wendi got in a silly fight about it, he yelled at her, she ran out of the room and the whole thing went to hell. All I wanted was one simple photo--was that so hard? It was just another reason to wish I'd stayed in Virginia and continued my secluded life for Christmas. People just weren't worth it--disgusted, I sat down and shot this self-portrait.

Loving every minute of it>>>