Travis Bickle on Christmas

You talkin’ to me, Santa?


Illustration by Jeremy Nguyen for The Bygone Bureau

All the assholes come out at Christmas time. The fat, the old, the grotesque tourists, the insanely rich wanting more, never looking at what they have. The shit-kickers, the pussy-lickers, the internet blogger goons, the gluten-free dicks, the Salvation Army phony fucks. All of them walking around in this overindulgent daze of booze and consumerism and excessive sleep. And the constant full-of-shit Barbie doll talk of “Happy Holidays,” milk and cookies, and goodwill toward men. The lights, the empty twinkling promises of hope and the New Year, and an end to the fear that creeps among people.

Well, not me. I’m not buying this commercial, superficial, manufactured merriness, this calculated cheer we all have to grit our teeth and bear, like getting blood work done. What doctors have to offer I don’t need. I don’t need Christmas. I am in control of my body, my mood. My New Year doesn’t start when a ball drops in Times Square for a bunch of squealing pigs, their gluttonous bodies shaking from the distraction, but their souls emaciated by their blindness to themselves… to the reality. That’s not me. So who do I talk to other than myself and the transparent projection people shine out instead of their real selves? I’d like to get one of those Dancing Santas for my kitchen.

Loneliness hunts me down no matter where I hide and then refuses to leave, like a drunken friend who’s only remembering the bad stuff. I go to bars, parks, the mall at Columbus Circle, Mario Batali’s restaurants, Fishs Eddy. Everywhere the loneliness, the loneliness. The imprecise feeling that you’re nowhere even when you’re somewhere, that you’re walking down the street with mannequins beside you, that if you went up to them close enough you’d be able to smell the fiberglass. At Christmas, the loneliness gains strength, tackling you to the floor, throwing you against a brick wall, and stealing out of your pockets the measly remainders of your crumpled optimism. In my apartment, I’m ensconced in a thick fog of dread. Only thing I can see are my legs outstretched in front of me, two appendages I’ve come to resent for taking me nowhere. I’d really like a juicer I saw on TV. It’s called a “Fusion Juicer.” A man said he lost 70 lbs in six months using it.

No, Santa, I will not bow down to you. You can’t judge me as naughty or nice. I am a clean soul, a clean body. I hung my stocking on the radiator, because I don’t have a fireplace, and I hope that won’t be a problem for you. I even put out some cookies. They’re store-bought, yeah, but who gives you the right to be picky?

Merry Christmas, and God bless us all, even the lousy scum.

Bridey Elliott is an actress and comedian in NYC. She has appeared on MTV and The Late Show with David Letterman and can be seen dancing alone in her living room.