With Christmas approaching, I’m once again reminded of the pain and misery I’ve spread. Ever since my wife left me and took the kids to her hometown in Mississippi sixteen years ago, what once was a celebration of the joy of giving on the anniversary of God’s greatest gift to mankind, has become a time of reflection on some of the unspeakable gifts I’ve given. Christmas 1967 was the hardest. I mailed gifts to my wife and kids, and I called her. We only talked for a few minutes, coldly exchanging holiday well-wishes and long awkward pauses. Finally, I asked to talk to the kids. There was a long pause. Then she politely said goodbye and hung up the phone. I was destroyed, but it felt good in a strange way. It was something I needed to feel for what I’d done. When your life feels like a nightmare, much as you want to wake up and find yourself sleeping next to your wife, in a world where you hadn’t been molesting children for 25 years, it also feels nice to know that you’re not asleep, and it all really happened.
Christmas didn’t bring me much joy until after my Embrace. As a doctor and Catholic, I always wondered how much our emotions were just tricks of neurochemistry, and how much of it was spiritual. Since the soul lacks a physical representation, there is effectively no way for a human to even begin to unravel that mystery. That is, until one finds himself without a soul. As it turns out, the soul has a profound role in emotion. The pain I now feel on Christmas is a pale shade of what I once felt. The love I feel for my wife and children is considerably diminished, and the lusts I once felt have all but vanished. For most Damned, I expect this would be problematic. But for me, this has relieved me of most of the guilt and pain that once defined me, freeing me to pursue new interests.
I’ve done some Christmas shopping this year for my fellow Vassals. I also considered getting Steve a gift, but it turns out to have been for the best that I didn’t, as he was just destroyed. I can’t say that I’m “excited” per se to see the looks on the other Vassals’ faces when they open their gifts, but I’m interested. I enjoy the grim humor in soulless monsters going through the motions of exchanging Christmas gifts. I’m similarly interested to find out what happened to Steve. Which reminds me: I haven’t seen Cookie around in a while. I wonder whatever happened to her.