The garbage truck gulped down a few more Christmas trees on Allen Street today. A sure sign that the patina of New is giving way to the under-layer of Nu? which is Yiddish for “So?” with a dose of irony: So: what did you expect? So, whaddyagonna do? So, that’s life.
I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with New. I like preserving that New Year’s spun-sugar Fabergé-egg pristineness all day, taking a new year’s walk in the cold sunshine, saying Happy New Year to a passing stranger like you’re hand-delivering a card, getting home for the Viennese waltz broadcast, and admiring the new calendar—Japanese woodblock prints taking over from Georgia O’Keeffe—even though half of January’s days are already inscribed with appointments. Keep it new.
But there’s no denying the long guttural drawl of the garbage truck pulling up like a foraging dinosaur. Nu? Whaddya got for me? White bags with red drawstring bows? Brown bags chockablock with recycled bottles, boxes, and other bric-a-brac? Toss it in. What, that’s it? No appliances, no mattress, no bales of Boston Globes going back to last summer? That’s okay. I’ll be back.
Turns out New gets old in a hurry But luckily there’ll be another behemoth coming next Tuesday to take it away with a belch and a familiar groan.
Nu? You were expecting something else?