Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Chapter 2013, Page 365 of 365. Chapter 2014, Page Zero of One.

It's very quiet outside. The big snowstorm quiet. The New Year's Eve quiet.
Very little traffic on the mucky roads that haven't been completely plowed yet.
They can't be--we're expecting nearly a foot by Thursday night.
For a night during which most people shouldn't be driving, the L is scarcely zipping down a Kennedy trickled with overly cautious, some no-doubt intoxicated drivers.
If it weren't so nippy cold outside, I think I'd be quite content to just stand outside and listen to the nothing. The nothing is better than the roster of random songs shuffling on my iTunes that are making me feel icky, or the screaming commentators on Chicago television reporting what a great time all the youngins are having getting shitfaced at the Palmer House or Toby Keith's (blech!) megaplex in Rosemont tonight. 

I'm still coughing but my lungs no longer hurt to inhale, so I'm stepping outside every hour or so for a smoke. I hold the shovel in one hand and the cigarette in the other, and weakly just twist the fluff in a direction which will keep my (I know...) Uggs from tracking in too much snow. I have a brutish, surly, hulking, strong teenager in the house who's busy making dubstep mixes or some such nonsense and won't go out and shovel tonight, though tomorrow, if he thinks he's staying cozy in the house, he's sorely mistaken. For starters, he owes me $50. He could work off, say, $10, digging my car out and cleaning it off.

I'm drinking blood orange San Pelligrino. It's 10:35 CST and I took my Valium for the night, not anticipating being up to ring in Chicago's 2014; rather will countdown with the folks on the East Coast under the big, obnoxious ball with the more obnoxious Ryan Seacrest. Poor Dick Clark. The Ambien (and most likely requisite online zombie shopping, e.g. I bought a certain critical edition of "War and Peace" Kate and Tim recommended, which I hope isn't in a 3 point font like the copy I already have, because Kate says that if I plan to ever win Crush's affections, I will have to have read "War and Peace") will wait until I'm trying to go to sleep and not think about anybody. It's so hard not to fantasize when you're trying to fall asleep and you don't conk right out. You try to imagine pleasant encounters, or even the warmth of lying on a blanket in the grass in the park on a warm spring day. 

As far as resolutions are concerned, they're quite simple: Yin Yoga by Paul Greeley and building an impenetrable wall against the depressive tendencies and loving the wrong people.  The latter seems more like it'll be made of sand than brick, because my natural impetus is to give...a lot. To love...passionately. But if 2013 taught me some lessons, it'd be these:  Give less to those who give less. Love less than the lesser love. Stay off the third rail. Shoo away the wolf at the door. Clutch tightly to those who DO care. 

My mom snidely asked me today if I'm in "one of my depressive moods." And I am. It's very, very common with my mental illness to become depressive when in the throes of serious illness. And I've been holed up in bed for a week. I ate close to nothing last week, slept like crazy, and only took maybe 3 or 4 showers, tops (one today!).  I pulled muscles in my chest coughing. My inhaler was my best friend. The good thing is I got my research paper done, finally. I don't know if I did it right, or if it's total crap, and it's worth 40% of my grade. But it's done and had to be done by tonight, so I did what I  thought was my best, given I didn't really understand the assignment in the first place. 

"Auld Lang Syne" and "Isn't It a Pity."

"Should old acquaintance be forgot?" Perhaps. Some yes, some no. Some definitely not. Patti said last night that people don't stay in one another's lives for 20 years for no reason, and she's right. And she should know--we've been friends for what, 36 years?  I have Christa, who I was blessed to reconnect with a couple years ago, who was my best friend in high school. And  then there's Kate...we've been very close friends for 22 years, though we haven't seen one another face to face since 1993, when she moved to New York from Knox in Galesburg. Meg? We grow tighter every day, and have been friends for going on a decade, and she, Kate and BMF are the 3 sole people on Earth I trust with all of my true feelings. Then there are my 2 virtual best friends, Veronica and Rob, who I haven't known very long, but wouldn't trade for the world. Crush likes to tell people we've "known each other forever." It just seems that way. I'm just glad I impressed him enough to remember who I am in the first place. BMF and his BFF and I have pranced into and out of one another's lives for another 20 years, but are one big happy, dysfunctional family. I like those guys. They take care of me, virtually anyway, to the best of their abilities. 

Well, I'll be darned. It's midnight Chicago time. Ambien on board. Two tonight. Happy New Year.

John Lennon's "Woman" shuffled to play at almost exactly midnight. It's the kind of song every woman wishes the man she loves would write for her. Such vulnerability, such devotion. "I love you. Yeah, yeah. Now and forever."

I hope Steven and Wayne had a great New Year's Eve show tonight. I always wish I could be in Oklahoma City for one of their legendary shows, but finances are tight too regularly, and the trip would be a luxury. And I'd take Luke, but I have a lot of friends who've never seen the Lips or met them in person, whereas Luke is old hat with Mr. Coyne, especially.

Isn't it a pity, isn't it a we break each other's hearts and cause each other pain? How we take each other's love, without thinking anymore? Forgetting to give back. Isn't it a pity? Yes, it most certainly is.  Guy's a lot of the reason for the impenetrable wall. Lord knows I gave. And gave, and gave, and gave, and loved and loved and loved. The return on that investment was a pittance in comparison.  He'd argue he gave as much as he could, given what else is more important in his life, that I expected too much. Maybe I did. It doesn't give him carte blanche to doormat me.

ELO's "Mr. Blue Sky" is playing. That's just slightly ironic during a blizzard.

2013, I'm glad you're gone. Don't ever come back. 2014? As my life credo says, "It's all uphill from here."


Andrea Miklasz said...

22 pages in 4 hours on the research paper which couldn't have sucked as much as I thought it did, given I just shot it out and submitted it. I got an A on it and an A in the course.

Anonymous said...

God damn! How does any human write that quickly, not go through multiple drafts and get an A? On a research paper?

Andrea Miklasz said...

Dumb luck. I should proofread my blogs, let alone my research papers.

I can't write outlines, or drafts, or anything like that. What comes out the first time, typically unedited, is what goes to print. I have mixed luck with that.

I am no genius, of that you can be sure.

BMF said...

Don't sell yourself short, hot shot. You are a genius, in your own fractured way, and spectacularly. I wish you weren't as hard on yourself as you are and could see yourself through our lenses. You'd be shocked.

Stay warm and get Luke's sorry sack of balls out there shoveling instead of you!

Kate said...

Isn't it a pity you don't see how
beautiful you are. This year , how about not basing yourself esteem on how someone who " hates the way they look" doesn't express to you how much you attract him.
Please don't take advice from me. I become very close with a second person from a South American Country. Only this one is not adopted. This one has a heart of gold and grew up with an M-16 as his favorite toy. He promised to make things "real" with all my family members who collectively didn't call me on any of the Holidays .Meanwhile , Latin American Buddy #1 is writing me love letters from the Big House.
We need to get together soon. In fact, I might just show up in Chicago some day and call you from my hotel room. We will have our own New Year's Eve, without the the crowds and the germs.

Andrea Miklasz said...

Fly out here, Kate, and we'll paint the town, literally! Your romantic life is way more complicated than mine--I'm at a stalemate with the man I swore I'd be willing to spend the rest of his life with (you know he'll die sooner than I will, being 17 years older than I am). I'm just feeling hurt. Not angry, not bitter. Just sad.