Towering over us with gnarled limbs, they looked more ominous than the usual skyscrapers. At least buildings were predictable. They had walls and stairs. There were humans in them. But who knew what kinds of creatures lived in those trees? And on top. And under.
When buildings catch on fire, the firemen come. When trees catch on fire, it’s every dung beetle for himself.
There was tinsel. Presents. The ability to listen to *NSYNC’s Christmas album—arguably their best and most amazing work, ever (I mean, who could forget JC’s “O Holy Night”? Lance’s super deep and perfect “YOU” when he sang “The only gift I wanted was you”? And the sexual undertones and overtones of “Under My Tree”? They weren’t just talking about conifers, am I right?)—without judgment.
There was also home.
And for people living in New York City, a.k.a. land of the people from elsewhere, home is a familiar, comforting, and ever-so-frustrating place.
We ate deep-fried greasy everything and saw just how far we could sink into our respective couches. We stared or didn’t stare at the TV. At dinner we sat around the table fact-checking each other’s know-it-all claims about something or other, each refusing to give in because we were all equally right.