Thursday, November 11, 2004

chilled us to the bone

I have been walking around all day today with a scarf on, indoors. And I am not ill. I think the rain has convinced me that I am cold. Or the feeling of a scarf around my neck brings me some kind of comfort. Last night, I slept with a scarf around my neck. There's a better explanation for that though, being that my apartment is the arctic. I've lived there for over two years, and about one and a half years ago, the radiator just kind of decided it didn't feel like working at full capacity. I called my fossil of a landlord (who, it should be noted, is sweet, despite being as old as time), who told me something about re-filling the radiator with water, which was double-speak for don't bother an old man with these types of stupid requests. I did what he told me, but the radiator, she remains unwilling to cooperate. And I, in my utter procrastination and laziness, have just learned to deal with it.

So, this morning, as I was pulling my scarf up to my nose to keep warm, I was listening to NPR cover Fallujah, and I am just so disheartened. I don't know how people even entertain the notion of bringing babies into such a disturbing world. That's all I can really write about it. Other people are writing about it with more precision, and more feeling. I just feel nothing but despair, and a feeling that there is an inevitable cost that we still do not realize for all of this.

So, my thoughts drift to my family. My family celebrates three holidays with massive fanfare. The first is Rakshabandan- when we were children, we translated this holiday to be "in which the brother gets the sweets and the sisters gets the cash." The second is Diwali, which is basically just an excuse for our massive extended family to congregate, cook excessive amounts of food, and play cards until 3 in the morning while heckling each other good-naturedly. The third is Christmas. I have no idea how Christmas wound up being the paramount of all holidays in my 90% Hindu family. If anything, I think that, as children, we may have created a version of Christmas for ourselves. But something in me swells to recall my dad or some other cousin's dad getting dolled up in a Santa suit when they had only been in America for a decade at most, saying "Merry Christmas" with a cheerful accent. Even now, when my masi tries to burst into a rousing version of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, well, it's enough to make the most straight-faced person dissolve into giggles. One of my cousins tries to goad her into it every year, which I find a little wicked, even if I do enjoy the end result.

No comments: