I'm looking out my window. It's the day after New Year's -- the first Sunday morning of 2011.
It looks the same -- gray street, gray, white, and red brick buildings, lamps posts, parked cars, meters like sentries that demand how much -- $14.00 for a half hour of parking on our street. It's a business street in the heart of Manhattan.
Yesterday, across the street in those buildings, I could see at least four marvelously decorated Christmas trees on four different floors -- all large, all looked as if they'd been carefully, expensively, creatively, applause-gettingly labored over.
Soon they'll be in the street.
And steel Dumpers will be in street, piled high with cartons, gift boxes -- piles of red, green, gold, silver things -- ribbons, bows, labels, cards, protective tissue, wrapping paper -- so many pretty things everyone picked out carefully, purchased, debated over how to handle, then wrapped, tied, taped and fussed with.
Like the Christmas trees. After the holiday you can keep the tree up for a week or two -- you can pretend not to notice the branches, the green beginning to be tinged with brown -- becoming brown and brittle -- then very brittle, crumbling, brittle, with browned, dead, pine needles beginning to cover the floor around the base of the tree, migrating, magically moving into other parts of the house that have to be kept clean.
Nobody wants pine needles on the kitchen floor. I don't want pine needles in the bathroom.
So, we'll move our tree into the hall -- trees are elevatored or hand, arm, and shoulder carried to the street, and laid to rest ignobly on their sides at the curb.
Sometimes the tree lies there and brown turns to gray until the garbage trucks and the garbage men arrive and the remnants of what once was your marvelous -- oh, this is IT tree! -- are disposed of.
Ours was a lovely tree -- a little crooked, but it grew and grew somewhere to be ready for us to chose it, buy it, make it into ours.
Well, it'll be Ground Hog day in a minute, then Valentines .... Happy New Year -- hello two zero one one! Hey, 2-0-1-1 will be fun to type -- to print out on a check ...
Oh my goodness, I forgot -- well, belatedly, tomorrow I'll give a holiday present to our postman!