‘Tis the Day After Christmas
26 December 2011
Phew — made it.
Every year, during the month that starts at Thanksgiving and ends after Christmas, I feel like an undersized running back at the two yard line (deep in my own team’s territory), working my way down the field. I keep hoping that the quarterback will hail-mary us to the end zone in one gorgeous, painless swoop; but it ends up being more like piecemeal progress, fending off tackles, a little achey and bruisey.
There’s just too much expectation around these holidays. Some of which I feel unable to meet, some of which I am unwilling.
In a few days my homage to Giuseppe di Lampedusa‘s The Leopard will go up at The Millions; and in it I write about how much I sympathize, and even empathize, with Don Fabrizio, the novel’s middle-aged Sicilian protagonist, a Prince circa 1860 no less. What could I possibly have in common with the Prince of Salina during Italy’s Risorgimento? Well, principally this:
I belong to an unfortunate generation, swung between the old world and the new, and I find myself ill at ease in both.
My family life is not conventional enough to conform to holiday expectations; and I suppose I am not (yet) unconventional enough at heart to truly feel free from all those expectations.
Anyhoo — officially, we (if you happen to relate to this) can now come out of hiding. It is okay to be doing non-holiday things — like work, correspondence, etc — without seeming too much like a sad weirdo. Here is a bit of what we did on Dec 25, here in Buenos Aires, Argentina:
Parque de la Memoria (for The Disappeared) — “To Think/Contemplate is a Revolutionary Act”
Kitschy Nativity Scene, outside Congreso
Quiet subway platforms — a gathering of tourists mostly!
Families fishing along the Rio de la Plata
Football (soccer) stadium, River Plate Team, the rich team (think Yankees)
In Once (OHNsay) – an immigrant neighborhood centered around a place called Plaza Miserere (yikes) that reminded me of Queens (and not really miserable at all)
And what did we eat? Leftover Chinese takeout, sauteed gai-laan, leftover peach pie (homemade, by a lovely young expat who hosted us for Christmas eve dinner), and flan from the corner bakery. Whiskey and soda, cheap Malbec. Good stuff.