Christmas 2001

My Christmas this year was anything but traditional. I had planned to do a trip to southern California…one of my “freeform road adventures” in which I simply throw some clothes in the trunk, set out driving, and let the vacation take whatever form occurs, but I kept getting invitations locally that I didn’t want to refuse and these finally just closed the vacation window. The strange part was that I had, in anticipation of my trip, earlier refused a Christmas Day invitation and then had not got another, so I spent most of my Christmas Day writing material for NoeHill. Very non-traditional.
However, in mid-morning I had a brilliant idea, and followed through by grabbing an armload of my jellies and driving around to all the shops that I frequent to see if they were open. For those that were, I took jars of jelly in for everyone who was working.

Actually, of all the places I drove past (and I didn’t get that far out of the neighborhood), the only ones that were open were the two corner groceries that I use (where in both cases it was the owner himself who was working because in both cases they were fairly new and struggling to make a go of it), the 24-hour 7-11 down at 18th and Noe, and the gas station at 17th and Castro (where in both cases the lowliest employee was working because the long-term owner was so consumed with greed that he wouldn’t shut down for an instant but would not even consider working himself to give one of his miserable employees a holiday).

I got so much fun out of this that on Boxing Day, I again ventured laden with jelly and hit my bookstore, my gym (which my doctor has convinced me that I really must return to because of yet another problem too tedious to get into), my video store, and A.G. Ferrari.

The surprise and delight registered by all these workers was a great joy to me, and to a significant degree relieved the depression that typically accompanies the holiday season.

I look forward to 2002. It’s bound to be better than 2001.

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