Friday, December 24, 2004

luxury also means free food

for the first time ever, i'm about to spend christmas eve with people who don't think of it as a chance to eat too much and not work the next day (at best) or Someone Else's silly over-hyped holiday (at worst). not christians, exactly; i haven't gone that far astray from my goy-less childhood. but one side of ben's family enjoys the rituals of christmas, and a couple of catholics do play prominent roles. thus there will be stockings, there will be a tree, there will be significance to the night of the 24st.

will it be weird?, i asked ben. it'll be weird, won't it?
he promises no. but i'm -- aren't i always -- skeptical.

so far this vacation has gone nicely. yesterday ben n i, our houseguest, and a college friend we met up with, went ambling through central park in the rain. i tried to walk myself into a zenlike state wherein the rain couldn't touch me. after a couple hours, i gave up and took an excedrin. my pant legs had soaked through by that point and my hands, which an assertive israeli salesperson had slathered with dead sea lotion, rendering them soft, scented, and too slick to properly hold my umbrella, were brick red. but my companions showed no sign of slowing down. i had to take drastic action.

noting a prettily situated lookout point, i convinced the fellows to pause for a minute and watch the ducks. ducks! cried ben. i love ducks. arguing ensued over whether male and female ducks bear different coloring, or whether different coloring denotes different species. once they'd been sufficiently lulled, i suggested that perhaps warmer and more solid shelter, the kind with soothing drinks, might be in order. with the help of the suddenly howling wind, i led my band out of the turgid park and into starbucks. with a tall pumpkin spice latte in my still soft and scented hand (huh, not bad lotion), i felt like moses, having successfully led his people to the promised land. if it were not for me, my people would still be walking through central park, turned perhaps into ghosts by the onslaught of the cold-wind-rain and the night, doomed to walk for eternity chipperly discussing irony and bliss, and whether anyone is actually a philosopher nowadays.

less exciting but more nourishing, i've slept late, watched movies, written my first poem in a while, shopped at Whole Foods, eaten well, and eaten well some more. this is what i chose when i turned down invitations to dc and to maine and i have no regrets.

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