Shhhh. My daughter and her husband are still sleeping it off. They arrived two days after Christmas, and until yesterday, we enjoyed the company of all my children under one roof. This happens twice a year or so. It’s noisy and messy and my kitchen is transformed into a round-the-clock beanery, with Dad staffed as chef and short-order cook, at your service.
As recently as Christmas Day, my apartment was orderly and clean. A week later, it needs to be excavated. Opened gifts still under the tree, wads of new clothes fast evolving into wrinkled laundry, candy canes and chocolate piled on a table, suitcases exploding with pink things and bath products, games and compact disks in loose stacks, toys clustered in arrangements that somehow take life in Lillie’s imagination and so shouldn’t be altered.
It feels like home.
Soon, my newlyweds will depart. I’ll wash sheets and towels, fold clothes, scrub the kitchen and bathroom, and sweep. I’ll wonder what to do with the remains of an enormous lamb roast, toss out the last of a rotisserie chicken, and remember fondly the ham that yielded Christmas dinner, Southern breakfasts and several quiches, and may yet come back as bean soup. I’ll reclaim my bedroom and sleep in my bed for the first time in two weeks, returning the couch to its primary functions as meeting place and storage unit.
I’ll be able to once more write until all hours, drink until all gone, and burn off my holiday abstinence.
Last night, the newlyweds and I brought in two thousand and eight with the Dresden Dolls. This seemed a good reprise of the gender-bending theme of last year’s New Year’s Eve.
The city was warm and alive with people; blocks away from Times Square, we could hear the racket of those who kicked out the previous year outdoors in the drizzle. The Dresden Dolls were wholly unknown to my teen bride and groom, so their exposure to underground cabaret got off to a good start. The crowd was enamored of the band, many of them dressed in gorgeous trash, dancing and singing in beer-hall bonhomie.
“That drummer is awesome,” Ray said.
“And cute,” Rachel noted.
“Yes,” I agreed.
The newlyweds kissed at midnight. I kissed their cheeks and hugged them, telling them I loved them.
The Dresden Dolls ended the show with “Sing,” vamped up to an anthem. Following an ensemble sing-along cover of “Sweet Dreams” as a wall-of-sound gypsy foot-stomper, the audience was already feeling part of the band.
We made it home not long after two. The newlyweds were up for hours. I had a bourbon, read for a bit and turned in, leaving on the lights of the Christmas tree.