Giftmas was extra magical this year. I launched my first tree, found last summer curbside-sad while on an alley jog through East Isles.
Rob liked his Lucha Libre mask.
Joe was skeptical of his gift,
but pleasantly surprised!
Mom scandalized yuletide by gifting Greg a reindeer part.
But she made up for it with the punching nun:
Anna took this picture at dive-bar karaoke. We sang “Pump Up the Jam,” it is the longest song ever, and EMF’s “Unbelievable,” which we mangled. It was stellar, a night to remember, I can do things that are stupid but still scare me.
Christmas happened, draining, driving all over groundstorming North Dakota, thinking about Thailand and alternate realities. Joe brought back twin Buddhas,
New Year’s was a riot, YouTubing 2010’s greatest hits, sixth-grade paparazzi pants on the ground, trololo double rainbow, we goan find you, bringing in the decade with the classic shouted countdown, with baby vuvuzelas and glints in eyes.
At the stroke of midnight, I popped champagne. I never did that before. It worked, just like the movies, just a bit on the floor, and like a million other Americans in Central Time, we googled “Auld Lang Syne” and still managed to butcher it, but we had a real piano, and someone who knew how to play it, and then we danced to Prince ‘cause this is Minnefuckinapolis, and MGMT, Janelle Monáe and Beyoncé.
The winter takes my breath away, the dark, my want to do a damn thing but put on my Olympic sweatpants and sleep till spring.
Nonetheless, 2011, you are on notice. Behind the seen, I been getting sharp, see, the forest for the trees I been felling with a scalpel, building me a castle of a thousand perfect cuts and the bones of precious dead darlings.
The demographics in the West Fargo, North Dakota, neighborhood where I grew up have changed, but not the kids. Not one bit, howling as the fuse gets lit, stomping on the spend-but-still-spinning Ground Bloom Flowers, daring scrambling closer shouting this one this one this one next! dropping the kamikaze killer bees into my cupped palm.
Nor has my mom moved from the eighties in her loud yellow Black Cat tee, handing out sparklers with a string of Be Carefuls, the eye of the gimme-gimme wriggling storm. Chain-lighting sparklers while Mom held back the toddlers, I burned only one boy, careening into my punk in the melee, the chaos of America chorus of shrieks, singeing his arm.
I blew on it.
A selection of Chinese-made American fireworks.
My favorite is Baby Boomers, with the sad, frustrated adults.