Yesterday we thought it would snow. The sky turned as gray as slate, the sunlight dimmed, the ducks took shelter under the piers, the water of the river looked like a solid mass.
In short, life seemed like the cloud before the silver lining except that the silver lining never really came. No snow really happened.
A little bit of solid snow fell from the sky which you could spot if you looked carefully at a dark patch. The little snow was blown around helter-skelter in a way that you could tell it wasn’t rainwater. Enough to check off the list of some earnest young holiday tourist in these parts who could say seen snow in NYC–check on his notebook.
What really happened was that the pavements got damp, some mud got strewn around through people’s trampling boots, and those who were wearing sneakers got their socks sodden through.
The promise of snow without its delivery. More keenly felt during the holidays than on other days.
Perhaps there’s been something low in the air these holidays in the New York City area. The transportation system is still wobbly, people are still exhausted after their long commutes even more lengthened by the complex changes in trains and buses that have taken place after Sandy. More people are still struggling with their housing situations in certain parts than we know.
Or perhaps it’s just a general case of the holiday blues.
The days would be great if they were just that–days. But when they fall under the rubric of holidays, they’re expected to perform. Be remarkable. Set themselves apart from other days in some way. Prove themselves.
Be brighter, picture-post-card-whiter, “full of laughter” (as if that even means anything), vignettes of perfect family time (laughing, drinking from brightly coloured cups, sitting around plush furniture–inspired by TV ads) , dogs looking happy in warm clothes, old people dancing without a care for their rheumatism in the world.
But no. Nothing remarkable about the holidays. Fewer people on the road. Street food vendors crouching in the wet cold with the steam from their carts billowing out towards no one in particular.
Desperate invitations on Facebook from nearly unknown people for desperately happy holiday parties.
Yet, the spirit of the season has decked up the city. Hope the holiday spirit will catch up with the lights soon.