Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Marking Time

This whole scene is what the best moments of my life are—me in the kitchen taking a break from cleaning an extraordinary mess from a particularly good supper, the kids in the living room being too wild (any moment now, I’ll have to shut down my computer and break up a fight), the clock three hours from the new year and I have still not showered from my morning at the gym and I know that out there beyond my front door are all sorts in Sunday best, music pumping, toasting and exuberant, who will they kiss, and I know who I will kiss, the man with the Xbox controller, battling our son in a game, and he is smooth-shaven today though yesterday he was gruff, there will be no rasp against my cheek this year, no prickling on my bottom lip, and maybe I won’t kiss him at midnight after all, maybe I’ll fall asleep on the couch like last year and he will tap my leg, nudge my arm, “the ball’s dropping,” and I will raise my head with sleepy eyes and yawn and say in my choked morning voice, “Happy New Year,” and go back to sleep and tomorrow the gym will be too crowded and everyone else will be walking zombie-like through the stores, another hangover behind their eyes, and it will be another day and another year, another way to drop a pin, set a marker, tell that time is indeed passing me by.

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