Monday, April 09, 2007

Make Me A Pallet on Your .

Dear Anna,

Today is New Year's Eve and I spent it alone, simply observing the motions of others around me. At times like these I am always overwhelmed by the imagined need to display some sort of feeling, some sort of evidence that, yes, I am like them. I see them all celebrating, smiling and I want to lend a hand, a brief shake, a condolence. One more year dead, lost to all the things we did not do that we might have done. And I wonder what it is that I will do differently with this new year, with this new arrangement of numbers which I will keep beneath my belt.

I suppose the new year doesn't mean much to me, honestly. It means that I will have an even harder time remembering the date. It will take me many months to get it straight. I have always been baffled by the way that people celebrate the new year. I have always thought it silly, inane even. I have always looked at myself on the last evening in December and I have always known that I will be who I will be despite the things around me changing.

Regrets echo in my mind and I watch the chattering crowds with such distant disillusion. It is as if everything I hear is only a muted memory of what people might have been doing. And even when I engage in their silly charades I still feel lost in the midst of everything I cannot feel. I scrutinize my every action, my every thought, looking for something to improve, fruitlessly fumbling around for some new goal, something to change.

And honestly I wonder if I am capable of ever changing. I wonder if anyone is. I wonder if the New Year is not only a brief time where people rejoyce in knowing that there are so many things they could change and then the rest of their lives are played out the same as they always were. I think of all the things that I might have done differently if I would have been able to see into the future. I try to remember my own "resolution" from last year. I wonder what it was I even did last year. I wonder what it is I am doing now.

Inevitably my thoughts return to you, as they often do. I remember the few New Years' we spent together, curled up beneath blankets, sipping cheap Champagne and giggling. I remember how sharply those times contrasted with the fights, how we could jump from one mood to the next without a second thought. Or maybe it was mostly I who did the leaping. And you just tolerated it until you couldn't tolerate it any longer.

Perhaps I should have made a new years resolution to discontinue uselessly dragging up the past and analyzing it. But, I spend my life wondering who I would be if I would have done things differently. Which, I suppose, is the same thing as wondering who I would be if I wasn't myself. I spend each moment in perpetual curiosity, trying to discern how that moment would be if you were standing next to me. I let the things that pulled us apart slip from my mind and I remember only the beautiful times, the soft, silent seconds where we each did what we needed to and held each other afterwards. It is so rare that two people can bounce off of one another and use that interaction to create something worthwhile. So often people use each other for the exact opposite; they want excuses, some reason to do something other than what it is they know they need to. I know this because I have lived it. But, I suppose that is how I know most of the things I know.

Oh, Anna, I wonder if you miss me. I wonder if you think of those kisses we shared as the clock struck twelve. They are the only memories I have of a New Year. They are the only memories I can muster of having something to look forward to, of having some resolve. Now, I am stuck, shivering, beneath each moment, wishing that it would resonate with the strength of the moments we shared. Now, I compare the sound of each second to the sound of your smile. Nothing ever adds up, Anna. And when the countdown begins and the ball drops, it is your face I see in the crowd, smiling up at me, your eyes shaking with wonder. And when everything is silent after the celebration, it is only then that I can truly feel the weight of all that I have lost.
I hope that your New Year is full of all the things you want and that you have the resolve to change the way you need to at all times of the year.

Make Me A Pallet On Your Floor,