I need a total life purge. I need to clean my closets, carwash my colon.
Gotta do something about the linen closet where I’m constantly cramming in towels and sheets, slamming the doors quickly so they won’t spill out.
My late lovely wife Posh had it all so organized, with swirly hand-written labels: Pillow cases, twin sheets, double-doubles, etc.
For a while, I followed this system before giving up and adopting the cram-it-all-in system of closet organizing: shove, BAM! Seems to work pretty well for me.
Maybe I should write a how-to book.
Indeed, January is the dreariest month, the shoving-it-away month…the bills, the IRS appointments, those nasty resolutions. BAM!
So grim. So spartan, after the lights and fa-la-la of December…a kind of mid-winter Lent.
Psssssst, here’s America’s dirty little secret: There is no record of anyone ever keeping a New Year’s resolution, at least not in California, usually America’s bastion of well-kept promises.
Why bother? No one has ever lost weight (and kept it off), nor been nicer to family members, nor save-save-saved the way they resolved to on New Year’s Eve. In the end, too much money still goes to sushi and coffee.
So don’t kid yourself. Skip the resolutions. Have another glass of ale, or maybe a gin & tonic. Dab a little behind each ear.
And put it on my tab. Tell the bartender you’re my cousin – that’s what everybody does.
For the record, my bar tab at the Proper, a dandy little saloon across from the Firestone dealer, has now topped $1.2 trillion. So, really, what’s another Amstel Light?
The Year in Review:
Basically, 2021 sucked. Not as badly as the year before, but don’t they all suck? Sorry to be so crude, but there really is no better word.
As I told a pal the other night, did you every say goodbye to a year and think: “Wow, that was an incredible year. Sure sad to see it go.”
After college, they all suck.
January 2021 sucked, though I was able to assemble a nice teriyaki bowl at home, with corn and leftover chicken.
In February things really started going south. I bought a piece of veal so stringy and flavorless that it might’ve been a book. The internet went down, so I took White Fang for a long walk in the pouring rain; she didn’t even pee.
Yet, the cold rain made her gleeful, chatty, at her very best. FYI, huskies have 47 layers of fur and no skin. I have translucent skin, almost a cellophane. You can make out my blood clots.
In March, Smartacus and I took a little day trip to Ventura, where we got the best cheeseburgers ever, at that old falling-down place Duke’s.
A week later, I hit the trifecta in the 7th at Santa Anita, after betting on a swan, a mule and a one-legged goose. Solid investment. Paid $24.60, which is tragically low for a trifecta, for sure.
For the record, March did not totally suck. Not at all. On the 31st, I got my first Covid shot!
Oh yeah, and we ordered King Cake for Mardi Gras! And we visited the University of Trees, Smartacus’ dream school — like Dublin, with more daffodils. One of the deans is a Leprechaun.
So there we were, vulnerable and happy, our reinforced immune systems cooking along, thinking life might work out just fine after all.
Don’t ever think that.
April sucked. I bought some sunflowers, and they lasted, like, two days is all, when usually they last a week. A debilitating angst began to settle in.
Smartacus won a baseball game, 14-2, so that was kinda cool. They let me work the scoreboard, then yelled at me when I screwed up. We crushed South Pas. Or maybe it was San Marino (white kids all look the same to me).
Rapunzel bought a nice new scarf.
Another highlight: In May, Catty Cakes was born, the first baby in the immediate family in 18 years. I told folks: “Sure hope this grandbaby works out better than Smartacus,” when in truth if she brings in even half as much light into my world, she will be a roaring success.
I see her pitching left, batting right … mastering an omelet …reading a racing form…quoting Bukowski…leading a rich and Runyonesque life.
“Listen, kid,” I told Cakes. “No expectations. Just love and joy and fastballs fat over the plate.”
June-November was a total blur of crawfish, friends’ kids’ weddings, court subpoenas, restraining orders and bankruptcies. Got a nail in my tire. Some bearded dude claimed to be my real mom. The lovely and patient older daughter got married again. Same guy!!!
I dated a little. Lost everything.
By December, at the age of 65, I’d outlived my retirement savings. Cashed in my last Savings Bond, started buying lottery tickets and cryptocurrency (same thing?) with every last cent.
Hit it big.
So obviously, we enter 2022 with very high hopes indeed, hoping to build on the momentum we established in those final festive months of 2021.
Spoiler alert: 2022 may suck too. Just a guess.
Despite myself, here are my resolutions: 1) Write a dirty limerick; 2) Become a famous rabbi.
Also, to better communicate with the ones I love, beyond the grunts, snorts and giggles I usually use.
FYI, grunts, snorts and giggles are my “love language.” Obviously, it’s not enough. I really need to get this giggling thing under control. The hiccups too.
Maybe we don’t crave new years. Perhaps all we crave is second chances. A hail Mary or two. And laughs, and new memories, and onion rings galore.
Happy New Year, my friend.
Here’s to love and joy and fastballs fat over the plate.
As you know, the comments are the best part about these Facebook posts. Starting today, I’m going to leave those to you. Really, I just mess them up anyway. Hope that makes sense. Meanwhile, be safe, be sassy, be better than ever. So many laughs and good times ahead.