i remember midnight arriving as i crawled on my hands and knees after a pink balloon in the bar.
here's why i don't believe in new years day. life can change on you in an instant. it can become something wonderful, or deadly and frightening, all in the blink of an eye. this false stamp of numbers and names of nordic and jovian origin...they're just fantasies of our own minds. a way of controlling something we can't even comprehend properly. time.
time is so many things. it can be good and bad and lucky and lingering and fast and boring. we all wonder how to get more and where it goes. it's meaningful and it's wasted. time is everything.
the 12 or so things from the last year that were worth the time i spent...
1. sending the book off to an editor
you know the story...after going back to school, my first homework assignment led to my writing a novel. it may not be the best and it may never get published...but i did it. and a piece of me that had died long ago was resurrected.
2. swimming with manatees
it was a matter of walking the talk. i want to be an adventurer. swimming down into an ice cold natural spring some 30 feet below the surface and being with these gentle animals...well, that qualified
we went to the biltmore house for the festival of flowers and rediscovered something about my relationship. i really love being with scott. we had tapas next to a jazz trio, i drank green chartruese from my flask under the table, we partied on the streets and laughed...that full throated laugh that you don't have to force...yeah...asheville reminded me why i've been with him all these years...
4. sky diving
i always said it was something i wanted to do. scott pulled together a bucket list a few years ago and he asked me...'what are the things you want to do before you die?' well, i've been waiting to die since the moment i was first diagnosed. i've been waiting to die since the cancerous lesions crawled across my legs. i've done most of what i always wanted to do, and saw no reason to add things to the list...until i kept living. so i jumped out of a plane 20,000 feet in the air. go figure.
what asheville did for my relationship, this wacky city did for my job. it reminded me that i am damn good at what i do. and it was the best time i've ever let myself have while opening a store. all those years of hearing about 'those' people...well, i became 'those' people...the one's who by the end of the week, everyone is trying to go and hang out with. dwarves, tattoos, alleys, money clips, martini's, hot train mess, green chartruese, amazing food, hot cocktails...and i'm pretty sure that was just one night.
if you are queer and haven't been...it's heaven, mecca and nirvana all wrapped in one. if you're straight i implore you not to ever, ever take for granted something as simple as holding hands in public with the one you love. something changed in me while i was there. decades of settling for my self bubbling beneath the surface, became a physical desire to participate in the world. don't try to figure it out, you won't. but that's what happened.
6. whale watching
that was an amazing afternoon. we are not alone in the universe and we don't have to look to the stars to find the proof.
7. scallop hunting
a short trip and i got seasick, but it was an adventure nonetheless. we took the boat out to a sand bar in the middle of the gulf and sat in the water surrounded by bull sharks...near us was a group of people sitting in lawn chairs on the sand bar...that image alone was worth the drive!
8. jeckyll island
i can only describe it as a civilized vacation. we biked, ate, ran, slept, cooked and walked on the beach for long hours. we kayaked and had a fabulous brunch. we walked our dogs on the beach. and one morning during sunrise, i shook loose the burden of trying to define who i was...a burden i felt i had been carrying for the past year or so...and realized that words have no meaning without first living the life. twitter is where i first caught wind of the thought...so many people bothered with creating profiles and in the end they all seemed to be the same. 100 years ago, the profiles which defined your best attributes were called obituaries and only necessary when your time had expired.
i made the choice to end things before he suffered too much. i smiled as he looked up into my eyes, one last time. i held him tight and helped push his last breath out of his body. but i smile whenever i see that silly picture of that beagle on the beach. 7 years of his life tied up outside of a trailer and in the end he spent his final months splashing in the surf. i'm glad i gave him a lap to lay on.
10. everything else
opening myself up to new music, writing more, doing the blog again, adopting 'bucky', working out, training for the triathlon, trying to stay in touch with my family, talking to my son, deciding that the price of school wasn't worth finishing, deciding to take classes that interested me, talking to my son's mother, having my numbers come out good, revealing my status to my son on world aids day....everything else was worth the time i spent... because it's my life.
so, there will be no hangovers or resolutions for me this year, again. i will watch others count down to an imaginary moment and share a cocktail in their celebrations. but i will do it with the secret knowledge that it's okay to let time slip through your fingers. oh how it flies! it lingers in my mind and on my breath. i wish everyone the time of their lives!