New Year’s Eve Unedited; stream of consciousness. Always a mistake. 2014 over, down and out. I am uneasy about traveling to Italy on Saturday. A problem that is also a gift. It’s a long trip with layovers in Chicago and Zurich and a lot of snow is predicted in both places and I am, naturally, convinced that we will be delayed, canceled, postponed, killed, arriving in Florence days late and half-dead. I am too old to sleep on an airport floor. Of course, I don’t know for sure about any of this, but it doesn’t look good. Nothing ever looks good, even when it is.
Cons? Delays and fatigue, possible air disaster, hijacking, lost luggage, turbulence and unhygienic passengers. Children.
Pros? Well, no matter how inconvenient and difficult the trip to Florence, eventually we’ll be in Italy for six weeks. Even if travel takes a few days of misery and suffering, we’ll still end up in Italy. Lucky me.
I couldn’t log into the United.com site when checking on my reservations so I called a woman on the motherfucking moon and in her unfathomable moon accent she tried to help. She could not figure out how to pronounce or write my last name and that is what my login is dependent upon. My confirmation number. Check. And my last name. Fail. Moonlady said she was having no problem at her terminal in the middle of the Sea of Tranquility so I cut and pasted my name from their site and, magic, it worked. Apparently the site is font-specific? Shit, I just want to be able to check my reservations from anywhere in the world where I may end up stranded and abused while on my way to the homeland. Thanks for nothing, Moonlady.
Hate to admit this but I’m worried that I’m going to die at any minute. One of the guilty effects of treating my body as a dumpster until 1994. I’ve become older than I dreamed I’d ever be. I almost embrace death. That way I won’t have to sweat flying in bad weather and waiting in bad airports. Man, I don’t know if I’m nuts or normally anxious. Some people just look at me like I’m stupid when I complain or express my concerns. Mike B validated me by saying, “Travel is always stressful.” That’s true. Even on trips that are supposed to be easy, Oakland to San Antonio, Reno to Albuquerque, I’ve had cancellations and cock-ups so I already know there is no absolute in travel. Everything is an expectation. Travel, sex, literature, family, health, dinner, automotive, dental, grocery shopping, electricity, weather. Everything.
It’s the last day of 2014 and I feel OK, complete, but I’m still behind in my tasks. There are books to get rid of, boxes to go through and items to dispose of. Weight loss has been pretty much abandoned since June. I need cataract operations, a nose job (breathing has become difficult thanks to my brothers, an errant baseball and years of cocaine use). I’m afraid I’m going to cease, end, die without finishing several planned writing projects and my extensive book lists. In fact, I am sure of that. I’m just afraid it’s going to happen in the next few days. Weeks. Months. I want another 15 years, but even that scares the shit out of me because it doesn’t seem very long at all.
Wow. Jesus. That’s my final post of 2014? Sounds kind of negative. I better list some of the better things from last year:
Reading George Orwell, Henry James, Virginia Woolf is the greatest pleasure.
My family amuses me.
Relief from belief in deities and fantasies gives me so much more peace.
I feel content most of the time.
I like my house. I love my wife.
I’m in good enough shape to hike, stack wood, workout.
There are some pretty good people out there. Somewhere.
French New Wave cinema is still cool as hell and inspiring.
Charlie and I have been playing exotica-lounge-surf music.
My writing is slightly better.
And the best thing about 2014? My new ExOfficio underwear.
Arrivederci and good-bye, 2014. And really, thanks for the underwear.