I must say, at the risk of sounding Grinchy once again, that I am not at all sorry that the holidays are over. The garish displays are coming down. The tourists crowd the city less densely, and the reduced incidence of primary-colored outerwear stretched over ample midsections allows Gotham’s naturally dingy palette to return to the fore. Gone are the gift-laden shoppers who turned the subways into freight trains; gone as well is that bloody “Carol of the Bells” that blared from every loudspeaker. The hawking of rubbish to the besotted is much abated, and fools are once again being parted from their money at the normal workaday pace. For those of us for whom gift-shopping is a baffling mystery, the anguish of the annual Deadline has passed, and we are delivered, for better or worse, for another year. No more obligatory holiday parties, corporate gift drives, and salvos of greeting cards (we dropped the ball on that this year; apologies to all).
No, that’s all behind us now. Nothing lies ahead but grim and slushy Winter, and the resumption of life’s dreary toil. Snows will fall, and blacken on the city streets, as we trudge to our daily servitude through the bleak and cheerless months to come. The distant memory of the summer’s fetid heat will seem an otherworldly illusion as the Boreal winds howl down Broadway straight from Baffin Bay, and the ancient questions, set aside during the recent Saturnalian euphoria, will gnaw us once again with renewed vigor.
Yippee! My time of year.