At the end of this year (at the end of all things) I am drinking coffee (from experience, I know that I’ll crave these particular Americanos from this particular coffee shop for as long as I’m not in Seattle) and daydreaming (I am fully awake, but don’t feel it) about the places I have been, the moving cinescope of memory, the daydream that is a hundred train platforms, rain in Poland, midnight trips to hospitals and my father crying too much to take any pictures (this year, in other words).
You can slice a year (day, minute) a thousand different ways, and not come up with the same answer twice. That’s the problem with human relationships, too. He said, she said, who said, what did they mean (what were they feeling?) Every time you slice it you come up with a thousand different answers, some of which may be “right” and some of which may be “wrong” but many of which are only a conclusion following from a hundred questionable interpretations. It makes me despair of ever finding truly open, clear communication — something I’ve only experienced a few times, mainly involving either sex or pure anger. And perhaps I shouldn’t despair because perhaps it simply isn’t possible; we live trapped inside our own minds, inexorably and definitively, only sharing threads (if we are a good writer, a good communicator) that may represent, however poorly, how we feel.
That is what this year has meant to me; chasing threads and doing crazy things. I am thinkful for my funny friends, the good writers I know, the communication that kept me going without too much despair. I am grateful for love and laughter and long evenings that end in bad diners; I am grateful for people falling asleep in my lap. I am grateful for projects and the way one thing leads to another and how without too terribly much work on my part I’ve found myself on a particular path (for now) that will doubtless lead to other things. If all these things are fated then Fate must have an exceedingly hard time keeping up with me — but random or not, I’m grateful for all the links that led to the present moment: for not dying under the wheels of an Integra years ago in Southern California, for a rainy evening full of kisses that led to me being there in the first place, to a dot-com bust that led to Seattle and to a job shelving books that led to a library degree. I’m glad for a concert ride that led to a year and a half; and to all journeys that may lead to mysterious and unknowable and wonderful things.
That is my Thanksgiving, here at the end of all things and the beginning (surely, the beginning!) of others. Happy New Year.