Twinkling lights and hands wrapped around warm mugs. Cozy nights and cold days. She pictured this in her mind while sitting on the bus and watching the holiday bedazzlements pass by.

Reality swooped in as she stepped out of the bus doors and heard them close with a hiss behind her. Glancing at her watch, she hurried into the small grocery store and found her way to the wine bottles filling mahogany shelves. What wine was the right wine? The wine, which would magically smooth the jagged edges and corners of relationships gone wrong. The bottle, which could heal years of silent pain and dissonance as it, slipped from her hands to theirs.

Chardonnay. Definitely the chardonnay.

Hard to solve a disconnect no one else seemed willing to acknowledge. Perhaps they didn’t even notice. Moving slowly now, she felt apprehension and the first curls of anxiety settle around her lungs and throat as she contemplated another holiday of nodding her head at relatives and biting her tongue as words flew around the room. Words, which would make her anxiety soar and then boil her blood once the fear subsided.

Sometimes she found herself wishing they could walk through the door to her mind for just a moment. Rifle through the pages of her journey and see why she could no longer stay where they are happy to remain. Why she was proud to have walked away from there and to be living in a much different place of being.

Maybe understanding was too much to ask for. But the transparent excuses and reasons upon reasons they used to explain away her experience’s lack of validity had grown old. She had long tired of exposing herself to such people and places. But then they draw you back in and you falsely hope for a different outcome. Maybe the bridge would never be built and they would forever be staring across a chasm of disconnect. Sighing, she snapped back to the green bottle in her hand. Taking her change from the cashier, she walked outside and ducked her head down as the snowy air hit her face.

She doubted any of them realized the distance between them was a natural response to one’s thoughts, beliefs, and experiences continually being discounted, ignored, and ultimately, invalidated.

No. They had the pleasure of all remaining on the same singular page. Heaven forbid someone push against their rigid self serving beliefs. Frustrated she found herself slipping back into an Us vs. Them mentality with her being the only part of Us. “That’s not helping,” she reminded herself in exasperation.

Realizing her fingers were grasping the Chardonnay a little too tightly she relaxed her grip and wished things really were as simple as gingerbread cookies and twinkling lights. Her feet carried her to the bright red door, wreath hanging merrily on the front. Fingers raised and poised to knock, the door swung open, and the faces greeted her happily and unknowing as ever. Not a wisp of a thought to the train of thought which had brought her here. Eyes glancing upward she held out the wine, “It’s chardonnay.”


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