Why I Hate Christmas – Hemgoblin! – Unknown

Hemgoblin! posted:

Those cheap little booklights which they sell at dollar stores that cost like 2.98$ and take 4 AA batteries, and you just know that they were made in some sweatshop in China by an 8 year-old girl for like 0.05$ an hour, and you get them for Christmas from your less-coherent relatives and you smile and thank them but you’re dead inside thinking about her hands little circumulatory motions as she screws on the fragile blue plastic top which you can just tell will break off in a week even if you use it and then the whole Christmas morning is ruined because you look around and see amid all the wrapping and ribbons and bows and happy cards with holly and berries the faces of all the children whose lives were wasted building low-quality junk no one wants to own for sub-slavery wages and their eyes are are big and brown and you think about her squinting at the bulb fiddling threading as he ruins her eyesight to attach another little light which will never be used and end up in a garbage dump somewhere before being shipping off to another third-world country after the dump gets too full and some little children there will be playing in the toxic sludge and offgassing coming up from the decaying mounds of post-Imperial North America and they’ll find the little light bulb and take it home because the rest of the light has so long been worn off and their dad will sell it at his little shop which sells what most people would consider trash but eventually someone finds a use for it and the bulb ends up in the toolkit of an electrician killed by union busters after his guild tries to get better wages and its smashed into a million tiny pieces there with the tungsten and glass seeping into the soil and getting stuck in the barefeet of boys running to the religious school and their feet bleed but the shards are in too deep and then I’m in too deep staring at a construction of tiny plastic and glass in a wrapped clamshell case because even in North American people will still try and rip off a booklight from a dollar store even though they probably can’t resell it but they’re so high on crack or meth or heroin that all they can think about is how good they feel and how they’re going to afford their next hit so they fuel petrochemicals into vast vasts with carbon emitting into the troposphere and chemical residue ending up in the spinal fluids of the workers who stare into them and check the dials with their hardhats on their greasy matted hair since shampoo is for the rich but not over there mouths they breathe through unmasked teeth rotted from dental coverage absenting itself for better wages in the US and they print out neatly folded hollows inverse proportions of the little blue booklight and you stare into the valleys and hills and imagine which pieces go where and then you know that a little Phillipino boy has it all memorized because if he doesn’t then he’s not working fast enough and then they’ll beat him and tell Father who will beat him again so he memorizes all the little nooks and crannies like he used to memorize the dales and glens around the kampung back at home when they had a little land before the bank took it and they moved to the city where the air is dark and greasy and even the bikes seem to be mechanical unlike the children’s horses they were back in the country even though they had less money and his sister was secretly whoring herself around the resort in the next town but don’t tell Mother she said or it will kill her and the little rosary she held onto even as the cancer crept into her brain and liver and the doctors from good households in France and Germany with the little red crosses on their hats and coats shake their head and then you can see the tears in father’s eyes and the money runs out so he works in the factory filling the little slots for blue booklights which get into the big containers then onto the ships larger than cities fueled by seas of oil spilling from their smokestacks and into the air and water because they’re charted in Trinidad and not the US because in Trinidad they don’t inspect very often and when they do you can always just pay them off you they fly the flag of Tobago and avoid US ports and unload in Mexico just south of the border along with the crates of humans who huddle in silence because silence it what keeps you alive and if you talk the steersmen might find you so you whisper and listen and when Ping starts to moan because he’s old and can’t manage the trip his muscles aching and bones shattered with holes like cheese left out to long so one of the teenagers holds a blanket over his face to keep him quiet and then for a long time no one talks about it because they don’t want to think that they just agreed to watching a boy smother an old man because no one wanted to be discovered but the boy doesn’t look at anyone very much anymore and sometimes at night you can tell he’s shaking back and forth rocking like an infant with the creak-crick of the metal under his heels cutting into them and then there in Mexico and the men unload the container and the little blue booklight travels the rails from ghetto to ghetto across the borders to a warehouse in Canada where trucks come and men smoke cigarettes as they drive them to the store with their bellies large and stained with the food they picked up for 7.67$ on special because in the US it’s just so much cheaper even with the dollar so they eat and drive and when they unload they might just take one of the booklights home with them because who checks stock anyways but then they look at them and see they’re mostly trash and toss them in the box as the boys in little uniforms unload them their buttons winking “have a nice day” and they put them on the shelves and maybe a little boy wants one but his Mom can’t afford it and so it sits until you relative picks it up and thinks “He likes books” and the gesture is sweet and thoughtful if a little ill-considered and you open it on Christmas and it all comes back to you and you sit there thinking later in your room with the lights off “this is why I don’t like the holidays”