The Santas: Getting Personal with DJ
As we enter the 2021 holiday season, it’s time for The Santas!
If you have not read it yet, you are missing out. There, I said it, plain and simple.
“I don’t like Christmas,” I can hear some of you grumble as you sink slowly into your sad, threadbare Snuggie, clutching your cold, bloodless fingers around a mug of freshly-brewed hatred. Well, okay. I get it. And I’m willing to bet that when you finish reading The Santas, your heart won’t be three sizes too small, and that you’ll no longer be a dyed-in-the-wool Grinch.
Anybody can enjoy The Santas, but I really wrote it for the hardcore, “I hate humanity,” “what’s the point of this?” “you keep Christmas in your way and let me keep it mine,” Snuggie-clad, hatred-sipping individuals. Not because I’m trying to convince you of anything, but because I’ve been there before, wearing my despair-Snuggie, and drinking long draughts of hatred for my fellow man.
The Santas was actually a very personal endeavor for me—one of the most personal that I’ve ever written. From the main character’s growing coldness towards the world, to his issues with having to nut up and take medication for his anxiety, and even to the areas of Charlotte, NC that are mentioned (all places I worked as a patrol cop). It was a very personal exercise.
Here’s a few fun little nuggets from my personal experiences that I worked into The Santas:
- West Boulevard and Remount Road: This is an intersection I’m intimately familiar with, and where a few different scenes in The Santas takes place. I spent a lot of time there, and, yes, just as Tucker observes, I could identify it with my eyes closed just by the smell.
- Don Juan: The character Don Juan is based on a real-life individual by the name of…Don Juan. Not sure if that’s what his real name is, but that’s what he went by, and that’s what I always called him. I wrote him pretty much exactly as I remember him, even down to the way that he talked (“You know me, baby! I’m Don Juan!”)
- Tucker’s foot chase: I actually had that exact same foot chase, around the back of the shops at West/Remount, and into the woods, with all those damn briars…
- Tucker’s struggles with anxiety/pushing his wife and family away: Won’t go into this too much, as you can read it for yourself, but it’s mostly autobiographical. Luckily, just like Tucker in this story, I figured some things out (gotta shine a light, especially at Christmas).
So if you haven’t read it, I encourage you to give it a read or a listen, and let me know what you think.