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seasons gratingsby the Pride of P.S. 207, Lizard: I can hear the jabbering from Gowanus already: “4011 Fillmore, is that even in Brooklyn?” No, schmuck, it’s a chapter from the real good book, ya’ll remember the passage, Fillmore 40:11: “And Louie said, fuck Christmas.” It didn’t matter that Louie sold the goddamn trees nearby at the corner of Avenue R and Flatbush, or that my own father, Mr. Lizard, would tell me when I worked in the family store at Avenue S and E. 38th Street, Mr. Lizard’s Meat Market, “shut the fuck up and take that roast beef out of the oven.” Such was the love the dare not speak its name. Louie, who used to work in the city, thus giving an air of Authority to his Marine Park street corner pronouncements, told us kids “New York is the biggest goddamn hick town of all.” Whaddya mean, Louie? “Look at that crap,” he added, gesturing down Flatbush to King’s Plaza, the instant dump of a mall which had risen on what was open wetlands just a few years before. We were a little too young to understand then but Louie— he knew. It didn’t matter how many trees he sold or how bright the colorful the lights were of that fuck with a dozen goddamn life size reindeer in his yard. Even here, in deep southern Brooklyn, we were being sold. (Years later, they’d be sold out again and again: the razing the of Thunderbolt,  two heinous pro-war U.S. Senators, corrupt sports stadium deals, the Atlantic Yards, fiasco, the gutless City Council’s revocation of term limits; the list goes on yet New York likes to think itself a “liberal” city. Liberal how?) Louie, a free man and graduate of “seven years of prison— St. Fortunata,” the Catholic elementary school on Linden Boulevard, didn’t like that. Reached for comment at his home in now heavily West Indian Canarsie, Louie is as opinionated as ever. “I’ll tell ya’ kid, black or Spanish Christmas— I can almost deal with it, just because it pisses people like your mother off.” He laughed. “It’s spelled Santo, Mr. and Missus Blogidad, S-a-n-t-o!” Louie started laughing loudly. Who knew Lblack christmasouie even had the internet? “That’s right, kid, and tell ‘em Louie said fuck Frosty, fuck Rudolph, fuck fruit cake, fuck Marty Markowitz, fuck the mall, fuck the sales, fuck the Knicks, fuck Rockefeller Center, fuck the twinkling lights of Dyker Heights and fuck your Aunt Maria’s— ah well, Maria’s got the diabetes now, I’ll let her pass.” Louie stopped and sighed. “You got enough quotes there, kid?” Plenty, thanks Lou. “Good, tell BZA and old Caz I said hey and tell Berger I can still beat his ass in handball.”

Lizard is the journalistic nom-de-plume of a popular contemporary novelist whose works have been translated into thirteen languages, including Canarsie. He divides his time between despondency and elation.

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