the air in here

Our Christmas tree is stripped of ornaments and garlands and lights and stands neglected, still perfuming the air of our apartment with evergreen. We’ve stopped giving it water, and its branches droop pathetically. The hyacinths Chris’s mom gave me for my birthday throw a gorgeous scent into the air. The apartment has grown stiflingly hot, radiators in high gear. I need to check that they’re wound down. True winter took its time but is finally upon us with temperatures in the single digits. Everyday I don my snow books and throw my heavy clogs in my shoulder bag to carry to work.

Yesterday on a crowded train a sitting man stood up, and I sat down. He said, I was giving the seat to the lady. I said, Oh, and got up and gave the seat to her and then stood there for the rest of the ride wondering what made me less of a lady.

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