Thursday, December 25, 2003

I arrived back home last night. My mom and my sister picked me up at Union Station. We walked out into the chill air and the first thing I saw was the lit dome of the Capitol, magnificent looking and letting me know that I was home, that there were beautiful things to take in on this trip. Lit white marble against a black night sky being one of them. As we were driving home, I noticed the sky, the blackness of it, and the stars, constellations. I saw the dippers. Both of them. And I don't see the night sky in New York. Last night was a treat. Tonight is. And tomorrow, my last night here, will be also.

This morning after opening presents, we went out to the recycling center and to pick up a paper and we drove down Route One, near buildings I spent time in as a kid, as a teen, places, physical places containing all these physical ghosts. I was there at one point. We were. We ran around the store, buying nothing, intending to buy nothing, killing time, talking.

On the way to the recyling center, we drove down Beacon Hill road, near where I went to elementary school, near where I went to high school, and the sky could be seen overhead, in front of you, and yes, behind you, physically, while you are trailing mentally behind, recalling the moments you and Bobby Wozniack used to spend playing in those woods, by that creek that constantly smelled like sewage. All the while the Beatles were playing because every Christmas, the classic rock station here plays nothing but Beatles, and pretty much every Christmas, the radio dial eventually will settle on 94.7, and all over the physical terrian of my past, as we drove around today doing these little errands, I had this sound, this familiar sound evoking other things, helping with the evocation of these things.

It was a nice day. A very pleasant Christmas. This afternoon, I saw In America with my mom and sister. And it was sentimental, but beautifully so. My eyes watered at the end, and that never happens for me in life or in movies, and my mom was wiping away tears next to me. It is just a gorgeous movie, and it tackles and plays around with the issue of race in brave ways, questioning our own racial expectations as viewers of what will happen when two little white girls go into a burly black man's apartment. It is a gem of a movie that I was entirelly taken by surprise by. I love when that happens. I also love when you leave a movie theater after watching a film that makes you think about this life project and makes you a little more sensitive to it, and you step into a chilly outside just as the sun is setting and the sky is a marvellous display of pinks, purples, and blues. And the colors, these non-screen ones that the screen ones are never capable of rivaling, are amazing, make it seem like the witnessing of these colors should mean something. You are not sure what, but want to find out and want to linger staring in hopes of coming closer to. [See also Proust's description of hawthorn flowers in Swann's Way] And as you ride home, and the Beatles continue to sing their gorgeous tunes, the bright colors of the sunset eventually melt into the dark one that is night, you step into your mommy's house, turn on some lights, and eat a nicely prepared meal made by the hands of the person whose body was your entrance into this world. And you think about this because after all, it is Christmas, and another Mary on this day gave birth to a boy whose entrance is celebrated today. The food is yummy as it passes through your throat, and as it sits in your stomach.

I got a long, black fleece scarf for Christmas, and I am not sure if it has been off my neck for more than a minute since I opened it this morning. It is warm and cozy and makes me feel extremely comfortable, loved.

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