december roseI woke up to what I would term Monday morning suicide weather conditions. Weak, matte yellow sunlight seeping into the room. Drizzling haze of freezing rain. Cold, muddy stale air. An entire week of office work rolled out in front of me like moldy motel hallway carpeting.

I made my way to the kitchen to quiet our early morning kitty alarm with some Fancy Feast and looked out into our “backyard” – a 10X10 back alley area we don’t even have access to.  It is overgrown with dead weeds and dead brambles and features a deflated garden hose. It’s a study in dead foliage and shades of grey.

And there it was, clinging to a bit of crappy chain-linked fence in a crappy New York alley – a huge, bright, yellow rose in full bloom. It was like it was the only thing in the universe that didn’t get the memo that it was a shitty Monday morning in mid-December.

I swear to you, it was glowing with life – surrounded by seeping cracked concrete and cigarette butts and peeling paint –  totally unconcerned with its inappropriate location or the inappropriate season.

As I said, I don’t have access to the alley, but I tried to take a picture by leaning out the open window. Although couldn’t capture the detail of the flower, I hope I did capture the contrast it made – or, at the very least, that there was actually a rose blooming outside of my window in Queens two weeks from Christmas.

I suppose I could start extrapolating this small, uplifting event into my overall outlook. Perhaps, I could say, this rose represents what my attitude should be at work or how I should look at life on even the bleakest of days and during my most trying and pessimistic times. That we are all roses, reaching up our chain-linked fences of life – nurtured by littered city dirt and nibbled upon by rats! That even in the darkest winters of our despair, we can blooom!

But instead, I think I should leave it as a yellow rose in my back alley that made me feel a bit better all day long. You should have seen it – I swear it was giving off its own light.

Also – I think “December Rose” would be a really great name for an “accidental” baby girl born to a middle-aged couple. Or the name for the debut album of a pop group made up of has-been female vocal artists who are planning a comeback. Or my new signature scent.

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