The entire city is now ablaze with the happy collision of those who crave things and those who sell them, while on the sidelines, the market analysts, like ancient priests examining the daily entrails of beasts, auger the success or failure of this annual battle. Will there be satisfaction by Christmas? Will it be shared by both groups? Are we off to a healthy gallop or has there been some stumbling at the gate?
As I walked through the crowds on the street, I found myself thinking about sexual pornography and my ever-growing immunity to it. Might there be some parallel between that circumstance and my ever-increasing lack of participation in this retail frenzy?
I am not a man without desires. I long for high-ceilinged rooms of classic proportion. The exfoliating rush of white sand underfoot as I run along a beach. Lilac, iris and peony to greet me if and when I am granted another spring. But those fulfillments do not constitute pornography, which addresses a man in his torment and offers respite from an annoying itch. When I brush the last of the snow off the branches of my lilac and inspect its buds for some swelling, I do not itch. I hope.
Pornography provides an amplification of what we see in those dreams that make us restless. The color saturation of its images is ratcheted beyond the natural. The music, the ornaments and the lights of this season certainly fit that portion of the definition.
Pornography also involves speed and the provision of an adequate route to relief. It is always a means to an end. It is volcanic by nature and has no back burner for the simmering. I apply this fact to the racing of the shoppers knocking shoulders while counting the days and I am satisfied with the strength of my comparison.
Red is the official color of sexual pornography and it is also the prevailing color of Christmas. To “see red” is to lose control in either case.
Out of the crowd and waiting for the elevator in the silence of my lobby, I remind myself that pornography is probably inevitable. Until a man has consumed all he can contain, until he has tasted the fruit of each and every tree and until those trees should all be barren, there will be pornography. Its grasp is weakened with the dimming of eyesight, the creaking of joints or the privileges and lessons of a picaresque life. I suppose then that I am the ghost of your Christmas Future, an old man parked under the glittering tree at the center of the mall, telling you that you really do not want that.