Friday, December 19, 2003

The Tree

With perhaps the worst job in the world, every December tree farmers from New England and Quebec travel in their covered pickups to Manhattan to sell trees on street corners. They live out of their trucks from the 1st to the 24th selling firs and spruce to over privileged New Yorkers who shell out $50 to $100 for five feet of Christmas cheer. Apparently, these tree farmers do very well, but still it's brutal, especially in this cold weather. They pee at McDonald's. And shower only when a kind hearted soul invites them up to their apartment. To pass the time, many hang around and smoke pot. Ah, nothing says Christmas like the smell of cannabis and pine.

Steve got off work early today to buy our tree. After a quick dinner at the pizza parlor, we walked over to 181st Street with Ian in the backpack and Jonah on foot. We picked out a perfect tree. Almost six feet tall and full. The tree guys packaged it up neatly with netting, and we put it in the stroller. Then Jonah and I pushed this war machine from Lord of the Rings six blocks home.

Getting a real tree for Christmas is a new experience for me. We always had a fake one growing up, because my mom is allergic to all organic life. I have fond memories of using those large Christmas lights from the 70s, the ones that would get super hot, to melt the fake needles on our fake tree. The plastic would curl up and dance so nicely. After several years of repeated melting, the boughs of trees resembled clenched fists. Good times.

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