Christmas comes like a shot in the arm to vaccinate against signs of new hope or any dreamthat does less harm than good. A long distance phone call dispels any thoughts of emerging unscathed. Between long-drawn pauses I ask how you are. I hold my breath and wait for an answer. "I hold my own, haven't I always?" But that is so unclear. From what I've heard this first fight wasn't the the first for the year. Seems like this month is going out with a kick in the gut not a whimper. This is rubber tube arm band courtesy; your boyfriend trashed your apartment and you're lying to me. Squeeze tight my hand. Feel my viens tighten. Hold tight the phone and ask if you'll be alright. "This is so unclear. So many things have happened here." I guess what they say is true: once you learn a cycle, you never forget. But the harshest thing to see is a child in the midst of learning a process. Yeah, they let me bring my own food, but I'll drink my way through another family dinner. This is cotton swab courtesy. I'm sitting next to a two year old hunter-to-be. If I choke down these strained peas and over-cooked carrots and choke down these raw nerves, will I be alright? That is so unclear. Pull off this rubber tube tourniquet and fight my way out of this year.