Just A Christmas Day Off n' Alone in CAR 29
Am I ready for Christmas? Certainly. For what’s truly only the second time ever, I’ve absolutely no plans. Well no plans other than to go for a drive. I’ll drive on the day of Christmas Eve. Weather permitting, I’ll drive out to Trenton for a eve dinner with my family, then head back quickly to rest up for… I admit, I am a little excited to see just what it’s like, feel the flow of the City, meet the people in need of a lift on Christmas Day. To be even more honest, I’m more excited about this Christmas than I have been in well, ever really.
The last time I had absolutely nothing to do on Christmas; earlier in the year I had split with the Jewish woman I’d been seeing for far too long. She went off to The Island visit her family and do the Christmas things they most liked to do, most likely shopping. On that Eve I went to a rigorous midnight mass at Smokey Tom's, St. Thomas Episcopalian on 5th Avenue, just across the street from Patrick's Place, Manhattan's most famous Catholic Church which was way too busy to get into. I walked home over the 59th Street Bridge after a few beers at 3am. I awoke quite early with the notion to wander around handing out cigarettes to homeless folks. I walked over the Williamsburg Bridge, into the city and had breakfast at some deli, then walked back over the river and as deep into South Brooklyn as I could manage. I had a muslim dinner at some Turkish restaurant, took the Subway back into the City, found an open hotel bar then wandered home thinking… what a lovely Christmas alone it was.
Don’t misinterpret this. I’m not one of these folks who couldn’t be bothered over Christmas. On the contrary I’ve a number of what some might consider bothersome Christmas projects already underway. There are a bunch of songs I like to hear at Christmas, and I’ve begun to listen to them. It’s been years since I’ve had a Christmas List of shopping obligations, but I have yanked myself into a few stores… For years now my M.O. has been to browse with intent to get a gift for one or two people, if something jumps out at me for them, or someone else, well that’s the person who gets the one or two gifts this year. In other words, I don’t go out looking to fill a list of gifts, I simply put myself in a position to let certain gifts find me. So far… no one’s been too disappointed.
I’ve no illusions of being totally alone this Christmas. On the contrary, I plan to be a crucial tool of service along a critical path to the success of more than a few people’s Christmases as I drive 'em around in CAR 29, here in this old Currier and Ives look-a-like kinda city. Who knows, maybe one of my fares will invite me in for turkey dinner, maybe offer me a cold turkey on wonderbread sandwich on Boxing Day. We’ll leave these admittedly remote possibilities open along with none of the other expectations I do not have. I may yet get an invite from some random friend that strikes my fancy, I've kind of found myself resisting this. I may get a far flung fare that takes me a way out of the city and spend the rest of my day simply, coming home... for Christmas.
So, it’s off we go alone in CAR 29. No plans no pressures... no commitments nor obligations. A simple day of driving around in limestone circles to see what happens on the streets of Kingston at Christmas. It’s not lost on me that this little guilty pleasure is just a little bit selfish, if it weren't, how could I feel guilty. I’ll even admit that it’s a well crafted plan to have no plan at all. In the end, something will happen, there will be a story, maybe two to be told as this guilty pleasure plan of mine unfolds around me… And... if you must, indeed I do know there is cost to all guilty pleasures… all tolled? It has been noted, perhaps with just a little solemnity, this second time 'round, this year's Christmas... The cost of having a day off n' alone in CAR 29, well... it's simply quite immeasurable.