Christmas Letter


Merry Christmas. I hope you and Wil are enjoying a cozy holiday together. Does it snow in Paris? I heard on CNN that several cities across the U.S. will be having a white Christmas, including Detroit. It's been storming all day here, and there have been tornado watches to the north of us. But I don't mind the weather. I've spent the day relaxing in bed. Right now I'm reading a romance novel by Richard Paul Evans who, according to the dust jacket, has had e=several novels adapted into "award-winning television movies," which should give you an idea of how sappy the book is. But at least I'm guaranteed a happy ending. And it is Christmas after all. I tried to call but kept getting your voicemail. Is that you or Wil? You both sound so polite and soft-spoken in French; it makes me laugh.

I called my parents last night. Mom has decided not to put up a tree this year. She says she's tired. For dinner they did the usual production—baked clams, spaghetti with shrimp sauce, and a fish fry. I believe you ate with us on Christmas Eve. Or was that Christmas day with the lasagna? I can't remember. This year, instead of celebrating Christmas at their house, they're bringing the lasagna to Grandpa and Lorry's; it's becoming harder for them to travel as they get older. He's ninety-two and she's ninety-three. Grandpa's memory is getting worst. At Thanksgiving he kept asking Mom how her job at the bank was going, and, as you know, my mother has never worked at a bank. I was thinking last night that I'll probably never see them again.

We had a really nice Christmas meal today. We each got an individual Cornish hen with sweet potatoes, dressing, salad, corn, pumpkin pie, and a dinner roll. And right now I'm sipping eggnog (which I just realized has 800 calories and 36 grams of fat) while finishing off the rest of the chocolate mint cookies that come in this year's Christmas bag, which aren't quite as good as thin mints but still tasty. Honestly, Jamie, I have to keep reminding myself to be happy. I try to wring out what pleasure I can from romance novels and cookies and eggnog, and it works for the most part, but sometimes, like this afternoon when I was eating my Cornish hen, the patheticness becomes so overwhelmingly apparent to me that I have to bite back the urge to cry. Last night when I was on the phone with my parents, my dad kept asking me what was wrong and I sort of snapped at him. I felt bad.

I still haven't heard anything about my transfer. One week the case manager tells me the paperwork's been sent to region; the next week she says it hasn't left the prison. I can't tell if the staff here are malicious or just incompetent, but I have an awful suspicion that I'm going to get screwed one way or the other.

I'm feeling extremely anxious about this transfer. You know me—I don't like change, especially when it involves risk. Have I described to you what the transfer process is like? They cuff you by your hands and feet and load you onto a bus like cattle. Then they take you to a prison in Oklahoma, a transfer station, where you wait for up to a month before you're shipped to wherever they've designated you.

Anyway, I'm sorry for being a Debbie Downer. I suppose I should end on a positive note; it is Christmas after all. Did I mention the Cornish hen was good? It was.

Merry Christmas.