Backwards in Time

Jan 8, 2013 by

 

As the remaining days of 2012 wound down, my mother became more and more uneasy.  It wasn’t the ball dropping as thousands of giddy people counted down from ten to usher in a new year that had her nervous.  In fact, she anxiously wished for the hours to halt, or at least move at a snail’s pace, unfortunately this simple request was denied.  She was nervous because the year that follows 2012 has the number 13 in it.  She must now face her fears over the course of the next twelve months with that number ever so present in her daily routines – every calendar she views, email time stamp, or document needing her signature and a date.  I hope she does not lose her mind.  And I mean that sincerely without an ounce of sarcasm.

My mother is as superstitious as any former or current major league baseball player.  For every pregame chicken eating third baseman or manager skipping over the white chalked baseline on his way out to relieve his pitcher; there’s my mother with more superstitions than one could imagine.  The most feared however is that malefic numeral 13.

Nine months pregnant and wanting like hell for our son to enter this world, my wife was fatigued.  My mother would call for weekly status updates on the expecting mother and soon to be newest family member.   As May made its appearance the expected due date was upon us.  The first week of May came and went – no baby.  My mother called on a Sunday to relay the message that my wife cannot give birth on Sunday, May 13th.

It was close, I am sure my mother prayed the rosary on the 12th of May; our son was born Monday, May 14, 2012.  Crisis avoided.  All was well.

Glad you are here, Vincent.

************

I sipped on chilled Jagermeister straight from the bottle and poured myself a class of wine.  My daughter and her two cousins cozied up to each other on the couch, my infant son was sound asleep on my chest, my wife sat in a chair beside me, my sister-in-law and wife were present in the room as we all gazed up at the television before us.  The Disney Channel featured the film Despicable Me.  We all watched the film wearing cheap New Year party hats upon our heads.  This was my New Years Eve celebration and I wouldn’t want any other way.   A contented grin marked my face.

Between commercial breaks and my daughter blowing the noise maker directly in my ear, I briefly reflected on 2012 and came to the realization that outside of my miniscule world there was nothing gratifying to write home about.  I tend to be more inclined to stay optimistic but 2012 made it somewhat difficult.  As a society, it felt like throughout much of the year we were experiencing some form of arrested development…or maybe we headed backwards in time.

We took up issues that had no bearing on our lives.  Someone needed to fill airtime so we watched and regurgitated without questioning.  The good ones still outnumber the defective but they became a silent majority.  We could no longer distinguish anyone from the masses as we dangerously defined everyone in two categories.  So-called leaders were anything but.  They morphed into gutless men and women.  When pushed for clarification they became defensive and spewed ignorance.   Did we lose our way?  I guess the box felt comfortable to many.

It was a year when the foolish found their voice.  Everyone had something to say; no one cared to listen.   Cries for help ignored, logic dismissed, and all became overly sensitive.  Might be time to shake things up and crush the spineless.  Never mind.

Coupled with no lasting song to listen to and a particular baseball team winning only 69 games…good riddance 2012…

Personally though, I can’t complain.  Cliffs, scandals, and debating violent video games fell silent on me.  I read some decent novels, dug the film Moonrise Kingdom, and rediscovered some tunes from years past.  I settled in just trying to do right for my family.  Challenges were present but nothing we couldn’t overcome.

Days just race by; everything is a blur.  My only clear and concise memories are not of what happened yesterday or the week before but those of twenty years ago.  I did manage up a brief moment reflecting on the recent past.  Deep in thought of people I knew who left this past year.  No subdued feeling towards those gone but a feeling of sorrow for those they left behind.

All I know to do is to keep it going.  So in lieu of superfluous resolutions, which by the way I have never aspired to, I plan to do the following in 2013:

Spend a spring weekend with only my wife in New York City.

Take in a Black Crowes concert.

Watch my son progress from crawling on his stomach like a soldier to eventually taking steps.

Draw more pictures with my daughter.

Visit my brother and his family somewhere in Alabama.

Watch what finally becomes of Walter White.

Enjoy an evening with mom and dad in Rhode Island watching minor league baseball.

Read more of Faulkner and maybe some Joseph Conrad if I get around to it.

*************

Later, but before New Year became official, I found myself alone on my front porch.  I adjust my headphones and make my selection.  I increase the volume.  I inhale.  Hushed dreamy-tone vocals settle in….

Billy sings the lyric “I’m all by myself”.  Moments later Jimmy will unleash.  All hell is about to break loose; I wait for it.  Though I was unaccompanied I never felt the least bit lonely.  Within close distance my wife and children slept.

I witness for the second time tonight confetti rain down in the city.

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