Monday, December 31, 2018
the new year
Jimmy and I almost never went out on the Eve. I'd never been to Times Square for New Year's Eve and he warned me that unless I was up to peeing in an alley in sub-zero weather with ten strangers cheering me on, I wouldn't like it.
The last time we went out on New Years was a toga party in the late 70's before the kids were born. Who gives a party in New York, in January that calls for wearing bedsheets? The company was strange, the drugs too copious, and the next day, we were both just grateful to have arrived in the new year alive.
After that, our celebrations were cozy and private.
My broodiness around the New Year stems from my parent's ongoing war. They always called a truce a week or so before Christmas, but I could be sure that the hostilities would resume on New Year's day or soon thereafter.
Back when they still entertained guests, I could tell the next morning what the day would bring. If the ashtrays were all emptied, glasses collected and washed, kitchen window left open to air the place out, I knew that my mother had been grinding her teeth and seething over the work alone rather than retire. It often seemed that the old man would appear mid-morning, having been elsewhere overnight.
So, through the years, I busy myself with this pass of hours knowing that the new day will bring business, as usual.
But these days, changes - new attitudes, new directions, progress of any kind - are entirely up to me.