Wednesday, January 3, 2018

A boy and his tree

by Denis Ferrara

Christmas is over.
And we are three days into a new year. But the holiday trimmings and spirit are still alive in Hoboken, New Jersey. At least at our house.

Each year I tell myself the previous 12 months have been too fraught, or I don’t feel well, or I am too old and creaky to drape the house and a tree in fripperies. But, each year I somehow “get the spirit.” And I keep it until January 7th, my birthday. Then, with a great deal of drama, carrying on, and vows that this is “positively the last time!” it comes down.

On this natal day there will even more than the usual complaining, as I turn 65, and drape myself in the mature mantel of Social Security and Medicare. Surely, I will likely say, now I can safely escape turning our cozy home into what the girls at Belle Watling’s bordello put up during Christmas? We shall see. 

In the meantime, enjoy the photos (or shield your eyes!) And, this, below, is the yearly conversation between me and Bruce, my guy of 43 years, as he attempts to get me to agree to a yearly holiday photo. 

I found a young, innocent fir.  And then, because I had the power ... I harassed it!
“I don’t really want to take pictures this year.”

“Oh, come on.”

“No, really, I can’t.”

“You didn’t want to put up the decorations and the tree, but you did.” 

“Sure. What was that you said? ‘Decorate or die?’”

“That’s an exaggeration. I just said, ‘You don’t do anything else for me.”

“I offered to start cooking again.”

“I would like to live out 2018, thank you. Be good. The tree looks great.”

“It’s the smallest we’ve ever had.”

“It’s looks adorable.”

“I don’t want ‘adorable.’ I want impressive, massive. Overpowering.”

“Fine, after I take your picture, we’ll sign you up on Grindr and get you something massive. Now, stand by the tree.”

“I am bigger than that the tree this year!”


“It doesn’t seem right.”

“Neither does the president, but people still take his picture.”

“Is there a filter on that lens?”

“The linoleum store was closed.”

“I haven’t shaved. I have a bit of a scruff.”

“They’ll love it on Grindr. You can call yourself a Daddy now.”

“Thank. You. Very. Much.”

“Now, just go over by the tree. That’s right. You look great.”

“I look like shit.”

“Whatever you say. Just shut up.”

“I might look better by the window.”

“What — having a face lift between the tree and window? Come back, come back! We’ll do you by the window.”

“Stop! Are you insane? Not that angle. Have we not discussed my neck?”

“Every day for 15 years.”

“Well, raise the camera. More. More.”

“I can’t raise it anymore. I won’t be able to see through the lens.”

“Pretend you’re a paparazzi. That’s how they do it. They raise the camera and hope for the best. Okay — shoot. No, No! My head was up. You got my neck.”

“It’s attached to your body. Shall we cut it off? The idea is now very tempting.”

“Look, this is simple.  Think of me as Elizabeth Taylor during the John Warner years. The higher the camera the better she looked.”

“So, let me get this straight. You want me to imagine you as a forty-ish, overweight, female movie star?” 

“The operative words are ‘forty-ish and ‘movie-star.’ Now, get the ladder!”
Gaudy, but we call it home.
Gaudier at night, but we call it 42nd Street, circa 1978.
"Feed Me!" The Little Shop of Christmas.
The closest thing we've got to a Nativity scene. 
Wait, it gets worse.
Tinsel and twine and everything shine ...
Friends are always welcome ...
Next year — no decorating, a new neck! Happy, Healthy 2018 to all of you! Love, Denis.  

Contact Denis here.