Cleaning the Christmas tree stand, removing sap from the supports, the sticky residue has to be removed with alcohol. I think there is nothing you can’t write about. That the task is mundane, now the holidays are done, should be no constraint. There are no constraints to writing — writing abhors the mundane.
Sap sucks. It repels water. Plus it smells significantly of pine. That is nice. Which is about it. Oh, a really sticky bead was golden and translucent. Translucent is a great word.
But the sap was a bitch to remove.
I kept thinking about Charlie Hebdo. Twelve people murdered because they dared to make us laugh. Can you write about that? If there’s nothing you can’t write about — write about that. Not pine sap.
I clean. Alcohol helps — it really cuts through.
We constantly turn against ourselves. Tear each other in a diminishing of each other, of our humanity.
I get rid of the sap. The tree stand will be put away until next year. Then another tree will rise, covered in lights and ornaments while the world darkens, once again. This is our only comfort: what is bright cannot be undone.
Those who teach us to laugh, teach us to cherish. They attack what is best to refine us; ridicule what is worst to wake us up; challenge and define us; demand the exceptional and expect no less. Those who laugh are the best amongst us.
Meanwhile, on Mars, little Curiosity, somewhat removed from our Earthly hatreds, our Earthly groans and regrets, recently reported discovering methane. Which could mean life on Mars. Or not. It depends.
Having heard the news, when I fart in the kitchen, my son mentions methane on Mars. “Maybe it is like Lord of the Rings — under the mountains of Mars, giant sleeping Dads wait for the end of time, when they will right all wrongs, but for now, they sleep and fart.”
I clean the Christmas tree stand, think there is nothing you can’t write about and fart my way to Mars.
Merdre you murderers; merdre you demagogues; merdre morons of violence—you may have struck a blow in the birthplace of democracy but you only exposed yourselves as murderous cowards. You cannot understand how we laugh. But laugh we will.
Je suis Charlie, je suis Ahmid, aujourd’hui, nous sommes tous en train de rire.

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