Earlier that day, I braved the outside world for a little while, looking both ways as I crossed each street en route to the supermarket, where there were crowds of people performing last-minute raids on pre-picked crabmeat, overpriced avocados, and underwhelming brands of sparkling wine.
With near-surgical precision, I scored some tangerines, a split decent champagne, cheese, crackers, and chocolate; sped through the checkout line; and was home again in twenty minutes, taking care not to trip on any uneven pavement or have my eyes ripped out by errant bits of chain link fence.
After returning home and stowing my purchases, I moved into the bathroom where I liberated myself from my clothing and carefully stepped into the shower, making certain to neither slip in the bath nor scald myself to death with unnecessarily hot water. Upon finishing my ablutions, I dried myself thoroughly and moved into the bedroom where, after ascertaining that I was not standing upon any wet spots or unexpected live wires, I turned on my computer to play a little Blossom Dearie.
When I had carefully stepped into my pants without falling over and braining myself on the corner of my heavy oak teacher’s desk and pulled on a t-shirt without a hint of self-strangulation, I moved into the kitchen, where I washed my dirty dishes and put away every sharp object within view. I pulled out a clean champagne coupe from the cupboard and placed it in the refrigerator next to the little bottle of champagne, gently so as not to shatter it and accidentally sever an artery.
With everything ready for the evening, I settled myself down on the couch to watch a Pre-Code Barbara Stanwyck film, wait for midnight, and do my damnedest not to die before the clock on my iPhone struck twelve.
Everyone, it seemed, was doing just that in 2016 and I loathe being on-trend. I cocooned myself for the last few hours of the year, sipping champagne, nibbling on fruit and chocolate, swooning over Ms. Stanwyck, and letting everyone on Facebook know that, as the minutes ticked away, I was still alive.
Midnight and the New Year tiptoed into my life this year, but I made it into 2017 alive, and was therefore relieved.
And then the next day, a friend commented that the people only got hysterical over the celebrity corpses of last year and I felt foolish, not being a famous person. But at least I still had a pulse.
And, if you are reading this, it means you are, too, dear reader. Congratulations.
Typically, I’d wish everyone a Happy New Year and be done with it, but my hopes aren’t all that high for 2017. There will be good times, I’m sure, but there will be some really terrible times ahead as well. After the lessons of 2016, I simply think it’s best to be prepared.
But there is one thing I am determined to do this year that I avoided in the last, which is take some actual risks. And to make my own happiness where and when I can. So that’s two things I’m determined to do.
I spent a good part of last year being frightened and depressed. This year, I plan on being braver and, hopefully, a little less depressed. For a time, I wondered whether there was any point at all to writing this blog when all signs point to the world ending, but I’ve got my head on straighter now. This blog will stay because writing it helps me make sense of the crazy; it helps me stay sane.
And if it helps you at all as well, that makes me happy, which is an excellent way to start a New Year, don’t you think? So feel free to use that as the adjective to your early January salutations, if you like.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some new posts to formulate and a whole freaking book to write.