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First Sighting

Direct from Red China

Direct from Red China

Stacked against a Walgreen’s window in Capitol Hill, the annual hyped debris is set up, ready for consumption. There is so much of it every year: a wonder in high school, an annual affront now. Who buys all these tree stands new every year? Don’t people keep them in the attic or in a box under the bed, the same one every year for decades?

I’ve been at a show and walk the windy, neither cold nor warm streets half-lashed with Seattle drizzle. There are lights and traffic and at least a smattering of people, something like a quiet part of Brooklyn. I feel a little lost and unreal. I duck in the Walgreens to check cheap vitamins and am jarred by this stuff. Is it really Christmas again?

True, I haven’t been paying any attention. I don’t have a TV to see the saturation advertising. I am only dimly aware of the next day being Halloween. But here it is, the one true measure of anything American real: Chinese-made and appropriately themed. I feel neither good or bad about it, startled more than anything. I take a picture. I feel like I’m floating.

Floating isn’t bad. To be without a job, without much responsibility, free to do what I want and only dimly aware of this. But here again is proof of the kind of magic our great machine can deliver. Red and green wonder in a box. I’ll probably buy some, but later. There’s nothing wrong with sparkle, with color, with indulging that little kid.



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