So I changed my mind. 2021 has 173 posts (this is 174). I wish there were more because there are huge gaps in information. It's all there if you're looking for it but the brutal truth is in the missing pieces. I combine 2020 and 2021 in my head. A thread snaps early in the year, just when shit's starting to get pretty damn surreal. Holed up just outside of New York City, we felt the tectonic shift at the end of March and by April 4 when NYC opened its first mass grave on Hart Island we fell right through the floor. Funny thing, on the subject of historical revisions, you'll be hard pressed to find an accurate date to go with the photographs of that open grave. You'll be hard pressed to find the original photographs posted by the New York Times. Instead, we have this. No more words required on that subject.
The thread snapped and the fabric unraveled too fast to follow. I noticed I was cold and mostly naked and when August threw July off a cliff I went with it. I can read the posts from 2020 but I can't reconcile what happened with how I ended up in Northern Vermont, eight or ten years off plan.
I read the titles, note the dates, and for the most part I know what's in there without opening the post. Each event, observation, expression of outrage is compartmentalized in its own air tight capsule. I slammed 2021 into a spreadsheet with seven primary keys and discovered I spent most of the year sending myself cryptic messages. One of them turned into a full length novel and another is close enough. The string of fairy tales is a real eye opener if you read it start to finish; I'm not sure I've got the stomach although I like them well enough in individual servings.
So what happened in 2021? Best I can tell, it looks like this:
- My lifeline snaps; another thing that might have been unraveling all along
- In the middle of an early February blizzard I am in an ambulance because I seem to have had a heart attack. I have not had a heart attack; I've just been living with a 120-140 resting heartbeat longer than I care to admit and my body tells me where to get off. No uncertain terms there.
- Stuck somewhere between not being able to think well enough to give a shit and having decided an early death is unpalatable, I hold my breath, close my eyes, and throw the broadest Hail Mary pass of my life.
- I spend two months in stasis between the pass and the move. I have no idea what's really happening other than I appear to be writing nothing but fairy tales until May 8 when I load up the car and head north.
- At the end of May, 95% of what I own is given away or thrown away (I remember that), and three cars make one last trip and 38 years in the New York Metropolitan area is wiped out. Those years happened, but they're gone.
- The month of June is fraught. I go to the beach and I have trouble remembering when I was last there. I come to the conclusion that 2016 or '17 was the last time I spent more than eighteen hours on that sandbar.
- July isn't much better except I'm getting better and I can think well enough to be good and scared. And mad. Good and mad. My resting heartbeat comes down to 87 and stays there.
- In August I finish a book. It is an accident of the sort that happens when you just start writing and forget to stop. The first 287 page draft done in 30 days, and the next ten rounds of editing completed before the end of September.
- I am set to run with that book but I fall face first into a job. This is also an accident and not anything any of us expects to be sustainable. Except it is.
- It's a good thing, the job. I am just about out of the sort of cash that allows me to maintain a few of the luxuries most of the world can't touch. Things like medical attention, medication (the stuff that keeps me alive), fiddle lessons, a cell phone, a vehicle, and one or two vices.
- With cash comes the first real glimpse of autonomy; I might move forward into something I can't even see yet. This isn't about blindness so much as un-stuckness. Nothing can happen when you're wrapped up in seaweed which is EXACTLY what stasis looks and feels like. Tastes pretty bad too.
- My kids all have major milestones. One turns 35 (I think that's major), the next 30, and the baby 21. In that order: birthday #1 is a non-event (don't think he's a space for it), birthday #2 is somebody else's event, and birthday #3 is a family affair, assuming its OK if not everybody shows up. That's a relationship issue and I've decided it's not mine at the moment.
Seems I'm leaving an awful lot out, doesn't it? Maybe I'm just being obtuse and that list is pretty accurate. The part that's missing really is in those 173 posts from 2021 and God knows how many from 2020. Honestly, I'm not up to looking at 2020 just yet.
Maybe this is the point of the list. Twelve pins on a canvas big as the side of a barn. It's already been painted, that barn, although I can't process the mural. Not yet.
But I know it's there.
Of 2021's remaining nine hours, I expect to be awake for about half of them. I'll go to sleep, wake up, and not give a social construct much thought. I would if meant anything, but it doesn't. Not yet.
But I know it's there and I'm kind of curious about what the hell I'm going to do next. I'm considering a plan. I've heard mixed reviews about plans, but they're mixed, that's all. It would be a new thing, having a plan and you'd think, as a project manager I'd be all over that. For the purpose of clarity, Vermont residence was not a plan. It was a wish.
I know it's there because I wrote it down. I know that tomorrow is day one of month one of year 16.
THAT'S A LOT OF FREAKING WRITING, PEOPLE! You'd think I'd have found more than my toes by now.