The Christmas Mumbo Jumbo

It feels nice to be alone for three hours, spending money.

At the end of the day, I feel the guilt of my thinning wallet. I spent money on food (which is okay) and books (which is okay, as long as it's from Booksale). The problem is spending money on gifts, which, my egoist self would say, is not worth anything. I'm only giving gifts to my Dad ever since I went to college.

Years ago I gave him a Khalid Hosseini's A Thousand Splendid Suns, because he said he almost cried (or cried rather fatherly, just to be macho) on The Kite Runner while doing his bike rounds!

Finally, he said he liked it, but "nothing beats the first book".

This year, I really have no idea. I'm stuck with a clue: Patricia Highsmith. Years ago, when I bought my first Moleskine he mouthed two authors he couldn't buy because it was really pricey: Patricia Highsmith and Mark Helprin. The latter I had almost collected after combing through three Booksale branches and found at least four Helprins in a matter of six months, including the most coveted Winter's Tale (for Php75 only).

When I had previously scanned Highsmith months ago, on Fully Booked, there were tons of books and I really have no lead. My chances are slim that I'm left to think of this other author, Gunter Grass. Dad had wanted to find The Tin Drum on Booksale.

Also, and this has just occurred to me: Henry Miller's Tropic of Capricorn (simply because we've found his Tropic of Cancer). Though to give this as a present is to forget his passion with wars (and American soldiers), which is, if I may say, the core of his childhood, and his fatherhood as well.

The Tin Drum must cost below Php500, or my savings are in jeopardy.

It's the thought that counts, though. He had just bought an oven (with rotisserie) to fulfill my baking needs this Christmas. He bought port wine and steak and sausages for Christmas. Plus, for my girlfriend, a scarf from India. What a petit bourgeois life we've been leading.