The air is chilly and crisp, coats but no hats or gloves.
The watery light of mid day becomes the twilight of mid afternoon.
Evening rushing looks black as night.
On the corner, we crunch over seperated needles of petite trees.
A gust of wind carries the evergreen scent of an altogether different place.
Sweet bells and laughter.
Brightly colored ear muffs and scarves.
Candied almonds and roasted chestnuts.
(Have you EVER bought them? There are only a dozen in the warmer)
Steam billows from down below.
The moist warm air rises through the grates, kisses exposed ankles and gets trapped in the opening of your slacks.
Shops and homes all decked in red velvet bows fresh from deep storage.
Excitement and hope and maybe a drink or two make the crowds bearable.
Stuffy office parties and last minute shopping at Herald Square, we make it through intact.
We'll need the babysitter again next week.
Quiet nights at home.
The radiator clanks then hisses.
Open a window and draw a little heart in the condensation.
The kids are sleeping soundly, dreaming of the presents stuffed tightly in the tippy tops of crammed closets.
Hopefully they won't find them tomorrow getting a towel.
Forget Silver Bells, this is Christmastime in the city.