I spent New Years with a small group of friends, telling and hearing tall tales, celebrating some great victories, gorging and drinking, sharing our happiness, lamenting the fallen and, ultimately, schooling their candy asses in basement ping pong games–because that’s how I roll. All this despite finding my way into 2016 with a hacking cough left over from a fleeting cold that had laid me low for just one day a week earlier, causing me to miss one of my favorite annual parties, then left me sniffling and snorting for the week betwixt then and now.
And what a fast week to end a fast year. They’re all fast, of course, and accelerating under constant thrust, like a rocket through space–the G’s have a way of creeping up on you until one day your head is pressed against the back of your seat and your cheeks are flapping under the strain. Hint: keep your mouth closed and things go better, at least in the short term.
Both of my children were out late, one of them gone to The King of Cities with her boyfriend for First Night, while meteorologists hinted at sleet, the other to a friend’s farm for bonfires and such. Surprisingly, my nightmares were not about that. I dreamt:
1) My cowering dog tipped me off to a grizzly ambling through our yard, and as I reined in the dog, the bear was attacked by a tiger. It was a good fight, but I thought: that’s a tiger, I ought to call someone.
2) I showed up late for a basketball game and for some reason was wearing jeans under my 1980’s uniform shorts(who wore short shorts? We did, and we looked good doing it). Coach said, “Get in there, Charlie (for some reason Coaches and mechanics and guys who sell fishing bait like to call me Charlie), we need your defense.” The other 9 players, both referees, and a large crowd waited for the tip-off, for me to get those damn Levi’s off. Hurried, harried, I rushed and tried to pull the jeans off over my shoes, and got my feet stuck.
There’s a ton of wisdom in those dreams, but I won’t presume you can’t figure the metaphors for yourself.
Resolutions: I’m tempted to think, write more, lose weight, be nicer, work harder–all that dishonest shit. Real and honest resolutions would go something like,
In 2016 I resolve to:
1. Plunder like a Viking
2. Fuck like a Barbarian.
3. Advance like Ghengis and the Golden Horde.
A more politic way to say this would be: I’ll strive to be less tepid, because I can’t imagine a worse way to be than tepid, one of those “neither/nor” words, like saying “I’ll strive to be adequate.”
I asked my wife, finally, what her resolutions would be. She furrowed her beautiful brow a moment then turned back to her book. “I hope to be better.” And damnit if she isn’t right. Again.