I hate Christmas!
Martin frowned at the jolly Father Christmas waving at the crowd with unstoppable exuberance. He must be getting paid by the smile
. Most people were returning the man's manic grin with all the buoyant spirit of the season—a spirit that continued to elude him.
He wouldn't exactly call himself a Scrooge, but Martin had found it difficult to get any of the abundant cheer that seemed to fill everyone else in the world right now. The holiday was weeks away and yet people were singing carols and wrapping themselves in ribbons of stripey colours and wishing for snow.
Admittedly a big part of that was no doubt that he hadn't had a date in weeks. Or sex with anyone but himself for even longer. Martin stopped to stare at a mannequin in the window. It was vaguely male-shaped with no eyes or mouth. And he still felt a stirring of arousal. He closed his eyes and sighed. I need to get laid!
Maybe he would meet someone at a holiday party. It could happen. There was that cutie Lars at the office do last year. That lasted a few weeks before the Nordic beauty buggered off back home to Sweden. What a shame and a great loss to international relations. I surely improved my linguistic talents, Martin though with a wistful sigh.
He hurried down to the escalator, realizing that he had spent more time than expected dithering over a gift for his sister. She was always so hard to buy for. The only thing he knew she liked was books, but she read such odd things—non-fiction mostly, but it might be a tome on the Chinese opium trade or a dissection of a recent serial killer. It was hard to predict, but he was tired of just giving her book tokens. It seemed so impersonal.
That had to be the worst part of the holidays: making decision after decision. Martin found it so stressful. In the end he had picked up and set down a dozen books and never managed to pick any one of them, imagining her face looking utterly confused and perhaps a little offended at some of the choices.
So it was a wasted foray into the hated mall so far. And he needed to step up the pace because he was meeting Scott and James for a late lunch at the pub. Martin felt a wave of despair wash over him. Normally he looked forward to spending even a little time with the Dynamic Duo, but at the moment their shiny perfection was a painful reminder of his hopelessness.
Nothing like a happy couple to make you feel like you were fated to die alone with a hundred cats and empty gin bottles around your feet. Martin found it all too easy to picture today. He could even see the ginger cat that would chomp on his recently deceased corpse with a barely contained glee. Would anyone cry for me? Martin mused. Drama queen!