New Year’s Eve 2010
It is now January fourth. I’m watching the return of the snow that melted last week; drunk week.
Drunk now…No longer January fourth. I’m now further down the road of winter, 2011. My friend Jon, how I love the man. Sure knows how to snap a poor old sap out of gloom. It takes skill to do what he does. I’ve recently come to know him, even though we’ve been friends for about a decade now. Whatever, drunk now; El Dorado Rum. Jon lets out one of his casual burps and continues talking. He doesn’t talk as much as me, but he’s talking now, and I’m drunk, getting drunk, listening intently.
He says, “Great fucking documentary!” (Emphasis on great, for Jon is a great guy.) “I watched a bunch of movies this week. Sunset Boulevard…”
“Yes, yes,” he burps and continues, “Carlos the Jackal.”
“Haven’t seen it.”
“It was alright…but I saw this documentary called The Cove; it’s this place in Japan where they trap and slaughter dolphins.” He drops his head slightly, taking in a deep breath. “I cried,” he sighs, “I cried for the dolphins.”
I reach for the bottle, “The Cove,” I mutter. He sighs.
I can still hear him as he sighs. A few days have passed. Days pass, it’s what they do. Sober now, closing my eyes on the Japanese spears and faces, on the open waters where dolphins are slaughtered. No use closing my eyes; “I must write this,” I think, “All of this, one day…My scattered young life, and how it has passed. There’s always a naked notebook nearby, and pens are plenty…I wonder, is it courage that’s faded?”
I am worrying now in my sober state, out and about since early in the morning, dreadful morning.
At the Wexford restaurant, they never fail to mention how long they’ve been around. “Since 1958,” says the menu, “280 million eggs cracked, 3.3 billion oranges squeezed.” I’m now nursing my sixth cup of coffee, wondering why she hasn’t called.
I never noticed the time passing, and how everybody grew up. I think I did too. I saw one of my uncles tonight, after about four years or so. Looking at his grey hairs, I realized that indeed change has us. The time that doesn’t exist continues to mock us. But it’s fun to be…to realize every once in a while that it’s still turning.
“How are you?” he asked me. I smiled in reply, nodding my head. “Really,” he continued, “Are you well? Are you happy?”
“Yes uncle, happy…In love.”
“Do not forget God,” he said, “Understanding is God.”
I couldn’t help but laugh.