Monday, December 31, 2007

Holiday Magic

This Christmas Day was one of the nicest I've ever had, in that we spent it together, in our own house, under our own tree, alone. I love Trey's family, and I love mine, and last year's Christmas at my dad's place was an extra-nice one, especially because Trey and me and my sister and brother-in-law all have a great time together. But the bustle of the holidays is always super emotional and stressful for me -- the 9 hours of driving, the guilty feeling that I spend less money than other family members on gifts, the fact that I end up drinking more than I'd like, sleeping in strange beds. It's great, but it's stressful, and this year's Christmas was a little caesura -- maybe the only one we'll ever have, as next year we will probably be with my side of the family and going forward we may be three. Knowing this made our Christmas day feel rich and saturated to me.

We woke up and I made biscuits and gravy, and we opened presents really slowly, and called people on the phone, and watched shows about dogs. My sister Elle and I g-chatted throughout the day. Then around 1 Trey and I decided to head out for our usual geriatric walk to McCarren and the dog run, etc (although the book-seller on Metropolitan would be closed, and so we'd be unable to check the copies-of-Possession: copies-of-Atonement ratio.)

The day was sunny and silent and blue. Hand in hand we rounded the corner onto Herbert when Trey stopped short.

-- Tree!

And there in a low branch of the tree right in front of that tile warehouse was a hawk. A massive and very beautiful hawk with stippled feathers clutching his Christmas dinner, a freshly decapitated pigeon. We stared at him for a while, no one seemed to move, really.

I saw a hipster couple approaching us, and tried catching their eye while pointing upward towards the hawk's branch. They didn't notice me though, and I guess they startled the hawk who dropped the headless pigeon and flew to a tree next to the McGuiness/Humboldt exit ramp.

-- There's an enormous hawk over there, he dropped his pigeon! I said, but the hipster girl was not impressed and seemed grossed out by the pigeon carcass which, in her defense, was nasty. They walked off.

We hid behind a van so we could watch him return for his dinner, which he did after about 5 minutes. He seized the pigeon, and took off around the corner onto our street! We ran around the corner and Trey spotted the hawk perched high in a tree on the corner of Richardson atop his pigeon. We watched him a few minutes more, and continued on our walk.

Williamsburg is at it's finest when utterly fucking empty. There is a special quality to the quiet in places which are normally bustling -- I find the quiet of the countryside to be kind of disturbing, but the quiet of New York when everyone's gone is pure holiday magic.

When we returned to our street the hawk was still there -- we stared as pigeon feathers spiral-drifted downwards past the pairs of sneakers draped over the phone wires. A couple of our neighbors came out and we all watched for a time, until Trey and I got cold and went inside.

I made linguine arrabiata and we watched Casino Royale and drank a bottle of wine we'd been saving since our wedding. It was a perfect, perfect Christmas. Praise be to Ceiling Cat!!

(This picture is not a very good one, but it is of the hawk.)


Blogger molly said...

RK and I are the same way when we see a hawk. FREEZE! STARE! we actually spent a morning watching a hawk eat his entire breakfast (of bird) in the big tree just outside our living room window. it wasn't xmas, but it was a highlight just the same.
i really love reading your blog.

7:09 PM  

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