Thursday, January 2, 2014
I'm looking out my window. It isn't the first Monday of the first work week of 2014, but it's time to get back to work. .
It looks the same -- gray street, gray, white, and red brick buildings, lamps posts, parked cars, meters like sentries that demand how much -- $18.00 for a half hour of parking on our street (last year it was $14.) It's a busy business street in the heart of Manhattan.
Yesterday, in the buildings across the street, like last year and the year before, I could see marvelously decorated Christmas trees on quite a few different floors -- all large -- bigger than the trees I saw last year, and all appeared to have been expensively, creatively, labored over.
Soon, maybe even today, they'll be in the street.
And steel Dumpsters 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 -- green becoming brown and brittle -- 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 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, then Valentines... hey, first day of spring, 4th of July, Halloween, in a minute it'll be Happy New Year two zero one FIVE!
Oh my goodness, I forgot to give a holiday present to our postman -- well, tomorrow I'll give a holiday present to the whomever delivers the mail -- the woman who replaced our friendly postman who retired wasn't friendly. Maybe she'll perk up if I say I'm Em, what's your name?
Yep, things have changed since last year, but if you know who people are, even my street turns into a chummy neighborhood.