Just over a week ago Mark, Willie, and I, put up the Christmas tree. The final result was a beautiful display of ornaments and lights, twinkling, and glittering in our living room. It was one of Mark’s finest years for decorating. Unfortunately, yesterday we determined that Mark was allergic to it. Not just the tree, but the lovely live pine boughs that Mark had used to decorate various other rooms in the house. All day long on Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day, Mark slaved away in the kitchen making Puerto Rican pasteles, sliced baked potatoes with cheese and bacon on top, spinach gratin, delicious prime rib roast, and a red velvet cake. The problem was he couldn’t breathe because of the live pine in the house, and he had to stop every few minutes to huff on his nebulizer. That meant either the tree, or Mark would have to go. By a slim margin it was decided that it would be the tree.
Realizing nobody was going to help me, I dragged myself back into the house, took two Excedrin, and rested for a half hour before I continued with my next task. After stripping the tree of all ornaments, and lights, I undid what I had done the week before. I loosened the bolts holding the Christmas tree upright. It immediately flopped over, spilling the water I had put in the stand just before Mark decided it was to be taken down. There it lay, splayed across the living room floor, pine needles everywhere, and a flood of water moving towards the carpet. Now I cursed, I cursed good and loud. I used every foul, and dirty word I could conjure up. Then I dragged that damn thing out the door, and to the street, leaving a trail of pine needles and a few filthy words floating in the air behind me.