Two and a half years ago I wrote that I was “almost teary-eyed with nostalgia for the time I spent in New York City during the 2013 Christmas holiday.” That nostalgia has double-downed over the last few months, or since the world more or less slammed to a halt last March. And now with the “live free or die” red-state assholes and under-40 party animals having taken us all back to square one in terms of fighting the silent scourge, I’m pretty much weeping for a life that I used to take for granted.
My New York holidays were a regular thing, but seven years ago the furlough felt extra-special. It lasted six or seven days. Christmas isn’t really Christmas unless you’re roaming around midtown and lower Manhattan at night, and then maybe taking a train to visit friends in the suburbs for a day or two. (I seem to recall Jett and I visiting my mother, who passed in 2015, at her assisted living facility in Southbury, CT.) Or if you’re roaming around London, which I was lucky enough to do in December of ’80. Nippy weather, overcoat, gloves, etc. The chillier the air, the better the holiday.
The high point was when I took a friend to see The Wolf of Wall Street at the gone-but-not-forgotten Ziegfeld on a Saturday night. An alert, decent-sized crowd in attendance, and it was just heaven. Especially during the quaalude scene. The whole night was glorious. The energy, the air, the aromas…all of it.
Remember those dim-bulb Academy members who harangued Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio after that first Academy screening because they didn’t get the satirical thrust behind all the coarse vulgarity (which was delivered both literally and within “quotes”)? And how Scorsese and DiCaprio had to attend screening after screening and patiently explain that they were depicting the louche adventures of Jordan Belfort and his cronies to make a point about the character of the buccaneers who have fleeced this country and will definitely fleece again? Remember the brief shining moment of Hope Holiday?
You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone. I would have that life again. Perhaps I will someday. Or maybe not.