Our trees are still up. Last year we had just the one, but this year was different. The one’s decked with red, green, and glittery Christmas stuff—also wedding photos, Supermans, and Federation starships. The other is Disney only. I “fought” to get my Marvel ornaments on that one since Disney buys up companies like some sugar-hopped cartoon kid tries to stuff Pokemon into his balls (I think that line is terribly funny, by the way). Fought’s in quotes because all I really said was, “Do we put the Marvel ornaments on this one?” and Lizz said, “I think it’ll be too cluttered if we add the Marvel ones,” or something like that. She was right. I turn both trees on first thing, before feeding Willow or Keuriging my coffee. Walking back to the house with a lavender-scented baggie full of dogshit, the trees glow through the front window and I think that’s nice. Before, I’d see trees glowing through windows in late January and think, “Don’t they know it’s late January already?” I’d sometimes see trees glowing through windows in June and think, “Weirdos live there, obvi.” Now I think everyone can say, “The COVID,” to explain away all the weird crap they’ve taken up. When asked, their answer’d just get a nod and a, “That’s understandable.” Maybe I’ll start playing the Ukulele in the backyard nude on Sunday afternoons. Maybe I’ll watch a YouTube video and learn how to replace the couple shingles that blew off in a storm a while back. Maybe I’ll fold the laundry that’s been piled on top of the brand new cooler I bought for some forgotten reason—but that sumbitch can keep ice cubed for two days! I’ve been wearing a steady rotation of seven t-shirts, seven pairs of undies, seven pairs of socks, four sweatshirts, two pairs of jeans, and one ratty pair of Chucks, so all that laundry can just sit there for all I care. The COVID. I figure if all anyone can see though our front window is two lit-up Christmas trees and not the tumbleweeds of dog hair, the divot in the couch that used to just be my regular old ass-print, the pile of empty boxes from months-back deliveries, or the 20-pack of toilet paper waiting in the basement for another shortage, that’s not half bad. I almost followed that sentence up with “Ain’t half good either,” but I’m not a putz. Anyway. Our trees are still up and we like them enough to keep them up until we don’t.

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