We twist around to
look out the rear window
laughing until tears blind us
and I’m afraid you are
going to back off the edge
in the dark, that we will
tumble over the rocks into the
Pacific but I can’t stop
I can see the headlines:
Stoned Americans Back Jeep Over Jetty
Edge, Directly Into Ocean.
I say, “Go slow,” and you sputter that
you’re going all of two miles
per hour but my God being
this close to you makes me
so dizzy I can’t see and my
hair tangles in what must be your
Bright white shapes move
behind us, a group of cows wandering
out onto the jetty to graze,
and you say, “What are those?
People?” and I laugh more because
you’re wasted and they are cows.
My sides hurt and I can’t talk.
But then they really are
other people walking to their cars,
people who got off the boat with us.
I say, “I thought they were cows,” and
then you have to stop the car because
you are laughing too hard and you
tell me I’m crazy which we both
I don’t say it, but I don’t
care if you drive over the rocks and
we drown together tonight.
All day we sailed
on the boat with the sun
slathering our skin drinking
rum and everybody kept passing
the joints and singing along to Bob’s guitar.
I never even smoke and I
tried not to, but I would do
anything for you.
Try me, I would.
“New Year’s” is not my favorite holiday. I’m not sure what my favorite holiday is, unless my birthday counts. I like Christmas alright, or whichever thinly-disguised version of Winter Solstice you prefer. I like a holiday of lights in the dark part of the year and giving presents is a bonus—at least during the times of my life when I’ve been able to afford them. Having to tell your family “no presents this year” sucks, and I’ve done it on more than one occasion. It always bothered me a lot more than it bothered them.
I have two problems with “New Year’s.” One is that it comes at the wrong time of year. Um, hello. I’m sorry, but NOTHING is new in January. If you live in the northern hemisphere, it’s the middle of winter. If you live in the southern hemisphere, it’s the middle of summer and nothing is really new then, either. I think that the sensible time to celebrate a new year would be in the spring. Right? Yes. Right. I would even be open to celebrating New Year in the fall—when it’s spring in the other half of the world. I can be open-minded like that. But January? I’m sorry. No. I personally celebrate a new year on the first of May. I started doing that when I was 14, way before my Mennonite teachers spilled it about the Pagan celebration of May Day. When I say I “celebrate” a new year on the first of May, I don’t mean I stay up until the middle of the night drinking or anything. “Commemorate” might be a better word for it. “Observe,” even–I’m fairly passive about it. I just mean it doesn’t go unnoticed.
The other thing that annoys me about “New Year’s” is that it’s so often sappy. None of us have any idea what the heck is going to happen to us in the morning or in the coming year. Some wonderful things. Some terrible things. And we’ll congratulate ourselves on the good ones and try not to take the bad ones personally. We’ll post them on facebook so our friends can congratulate or commiserate. I can pretty much guarantee you all of that and nothing more.
I’m gloriously happy about all the attention Barbara Struncova’s story has gotten in 2015, apart from my voice howling from my little rooftop. I hope the “new” year brings more truth to light, but I try to be realistic about how difficult that will be. Difficult—not impossible. (Why oh why am I not a detective?) As you might guess, I don’t really do “resolutions,“ but I do hope for things. And I really hope that in the near future, some benevolent publisher accepts the book I’ve been sending out like mad. Quién sabe. I’ll keep you posted.
I have to go get in the shower now or I’ll be late to work on the first day of a “new year.” I will make a mess out of writing the date this week, that’s for sure.
So, here’s to you.
Here’s to me.
Here’s to everything that’s about to happen, whatever it is.