PX600 Silver Shade.
Rats seen in subway: 2
Abandoned Metro cards seen in subway: ∞
Level of confusion upon exiting subway into Times Square: high
Times asked for directions over the course of week: less than ten, more than four
Times I might have been helpful: A couple. I hope
Dumplings consumed: six (3 fried, 3 steamed)
Location of dumpling consumption: Mr. Dumpling
Kimchi eaten for Xmas dinner? Y/N. YES
Did you like it? Y/N. YES
Christmas carols sung at Rockefeller Center on Christmas Eve: six or seven, but “12 Days of Christmas” should count extra
Friends acquired: 3
Friendships renewed: 2
Bubble tea: two (one free on Xmas)
Lost time: Oh. oh. oh.
Brow furrowed over Kick Lite NYC subway app? Often.
Q: What album sounded like New York to you that you listened to while you were there?
A: I have to say High Violet, as painfully obvious as that might seem, but it already sounded like a lonely New York Christmas blizzard, even if I didn’t know what that was yet.
SHORT ESSAY. Did you accidentally attend church in Long Island City? If yes, explain your answer.
I was coming back to the apartment where my truly gracious friend lives (he was traveling in the South—okay, he was apparently swimming with the dolphins somewhere in the Bahamas) when I realized there was a little Catholic church catty corner from the bodega where I’d been buying grape soda. It was late, and I was beat, and I didn’t notice that there was singing until I was peering at the sign outside, trying to determine when the morning services were—and a couple passed me rushing in, which totally made me jump.
Was it personally transformative, as you hoped?
Maybe a little bit, yeah. It was lovely. It was boring. It was church, you know.
Did you take communion?
No. I am not a Catholic and do not engage in the religious rituals of others, even within the larger confines of my faith.
Really? So you didn’t kneel down when everybody else did?
Well, I did that, but that’s more out of respect.
For the religious rituals of others.
What was your favorite part?
When the priest prayed for peace in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Palestine.
Because praying for peace needs to happen more often. Because we need to stop the wars that we started. And because it felt like something really true and real that you should hope for on Christmas.
Like John & Yoko?
Yes. Like Happy Xmas, War Is Over If You Want It.
Do you really believe that?
Yes. Yes. Yes.
Did you think about taking communion, at least? No one would have known. You might have been a Catholic, shivering there in your Alabama toboggan and black leather jacket, as much as anyone else in Long Island City at the stroke of midnight in this new millennium.
Yes. I thought about it.
How many languages did they sing “Silent Night” in?
Three. Anglais, Deutsche, and Espanol.
What did you do afterwards?
I walked back towards the East River. I took the elevator up. I undid my scarf.
What was in your pockets?
My Metro card—the $27 one that you can ride all week on. My dinosaur wallet. My keys. Some singles in my right pocket in case I saw a busker doing something cool, like a Beatles song or something (no electrified pan-flautists). My iPhone.
I stood on the balcony and I looked at the lights of Manhattan. I watered the Christmas tree. And I went to sleep alone.