The New Year always makes me melancholy. If New York had moors, I’d spend the New Year sulking around the fog in a billowy shirt with a raven on my shoulder. While everyone else says “hello” to the next 12 months, I usually spend this time of year reflecting on the past 12 months. I can’t predict what tomorrow will bring, but I know what yesterday wrought. New Year’s is a time of accounting for one’s actions instead of making odds and betting on what might be. While everyone is gorging on the cake of future opportunity, I’m picking over the leftovers of my decisions. Because, like history, stupidity repeats itself. My funky mood is practical, too. Fate is a sniper, and those people who whoop and holler at the strike of midnight make easy targets. I keep my head down.
I never make New Year’s resolutions, either. New Year’s resolutions are like the promises a drunk makes to himself the morning after a bender. Why set yourself up for disappointment? Instead, I reflect on the past year and try to come up with lessons that will help me the following year. This has been a banner year of personal lessons for me. I’ve learned so much this past year, I feel like an alien mutant with a gigantic, throbbing forehead pulsing with radioactive webs of veins. I will share what I learned this year, because, pretty much, we’re all part of the same babysitters club.
Never eat tiny sandwiches at a funeral. Grief is hungry, but not that hungry. If the TSA pats you down, take it as a compliment. You’re either sexy or dangerous or both. If you get laid off, don’t let them see you cry. Never live your life according to the saying “What Would Jimmy McNulty Do?” Voodoo dolls can be used for good. When I was a younger clown-poet, I dared myself to drink all of the booze. This year, I learned that there is just so much of it, and I gave up. Sometimes when people cry, they just want you to watch them cry, and that’s all. I learned this year that blogging is literature with a gun to the head. The main difference between boys and girls is that boys want to kill all the monsters and girls serve all the monsters tea, become friends with the monsters, then convince them to attack boys. My little brother looks great in a hat. I do not. Forgiveness is a dish best served hot, in a flaky pie crust, with gravy. It is the comfort food of the soul.
The heart is a haunted house. Love is the bait and the hook. In a way, everyone is an orphan Lego searching for the right brick to click to. A six-foot long chocolate brown couch made out of teddy bears can bring about a modicum of happiness. Facebook is not reality. Texting was invented to increase misunderstandings between lovers and friends, and therefore, comedy. There are friends who will take a bullet for you, and sometimes they’re the ones who shot the gun in the first place. Taking responsibility for your actions sucks, but it’s better than prescription-strength sleeping pills. Pillows smell so much sweeter when they’re scented with her face. Wet jeans are the most uncomfortable thing in the world. Tax accountants are wizards. In a zombie apocalypse, a shovel is as useful a weapon as a chainsaw. Lady Gaga’s music isn’t terrible. Moths are just goth butterflies. If you’re not prepared to be carbon frozen to save your friends, you’re not a man.
This past year, I also learned that one cannot fail forever.