I watched a rat run uptown from union square today. Its fat furry body raced along the cold steel rail before he dipped and dodged through railroad spikes. Only a handful of us noticed. Calm and swift, he knew the underground better than the subway drivers themselves. His nose twitched and he bid me no mind as he scurried by. He had some shopping to do I’m sure.
The drugstores sell trees at this time of year. Healthy full-bodied beasts from some distant forest all suffering the same fate. They wait and watch the cabs roll by nodding only when noticed. Their salesmen smoke cigarettes, as limbs lay tight in string nets. A mean market minus the flesh. These seasonal pimps sell two weeks of cheer for 10 minuets of back-and-fourth and a few 20’s. The pine gets no vote. Strung up by the stressed out, a chosen trunk gets strapped to a roof and feels an honest breeze for maybe an hour. It gets groped into a tree dish, you know the red things with screw holders, before getting dressed by a family drunk on nothing more than each other. It sleeps warm despite the lights and the tacky tinsel lining. The 26th comes but the restless needles still pepper the floor and adjacent rugs. A tree never completely leaves a home, as a Christmas is never completely forgotten.