It was Christmas Eve, not in the drunk tank, but just over at small holiday gathering at my friend Steve’s, three houses down. His uncle and his mom’s boyfriend Frank–mischievous elves both–were pouring homemade eggnog for me and my friend Stumpie. Seems they were using a double dose of nutmeg to mask the tripling up of the bourbon and rum. It didn’t take many a small cup before we were fortified to hike a mile through three feet of freshly fallen snow to head to our next party, across town, midnight at Zeke’s.
We weaved (walking) so much down the near empty streets that when Zeke and his family drove passed us, they decided to hide out in the parking lot across the street from their apartment building until we gave up to head back to Steve’s. The coast was clear for them, but not for us, as we got into a pumped up rant about the commercialization of Christmas. Somehow I folded the issue into the art world too. A small gallery on Market Street had recently reject showing the work of my friend Alex.
Angered at the insult, inflamed by the string of lights outlining the gallery’s hedge, and perplexed by the still influential eggnog, I grabbed the lights, lifted them towards Stumpie, and let them fall softly into the snow. “See my point?”
With that there were more lights, alternative blue and red lights from the cop car parked at the corner outside borough hall. Officer McNaughton–never really my friend, he had always vowed to get me someday–asked me to sit in the back of the car while he wrote out a summons for disorderly conduct.
“I’ve never had to write out a ticket on Christmas day,” he told me.
“Well,” I soberly answered, “what’s the point in starting now?”
The point is, I know now, … well … the point is you don’t trust nutmeg.