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2010: Leaving It All Behind

December 31, 2010

I am a little bit sick of all this 2010.

January 2010 was awkward and weird, while I fumbled with a brand-new relationship that already wasn’t going anywhere but which neither of us knew how to stop. Mid-February, he invited me to join him at his apartment for a glass of wine and a quiet evening in. He quickly swacked a few gulps then clacked his glass on the coffee table next to my resting feet. When he blurted that “we really need to talk”, his vowels cracked like a teenage boy and his arms seemed no longer under his control, like that game where you stand behind someone and pop your arms below their pits and gesticulate to match the words the person speaks. I cried, he nearly threw up, and we  both were relieved that it was over.

It was winter and it would have been easy to retreat into my dollhouse-size apartment and hide out till springtime broke.

Instead, I decided fuck that shit, opportunity wasn’t just going to march up to my door and ring the bell,. So,I followed the advice my mother gave me about making friends each time I switched schools: put yourself out there. No one will know how great you are if you hide in your shell.

…and, I met someone really sweet and wonderful pretty much right away. Our first handful of dates were a heady combination of coy gestures, careful questions, and gently probing stories. “I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours.” And so it  seemed we were getting to know each other, our respective quirks and shy spots, along with some skeletons. Better to have the bones out there on display than rattling around in secret to be exposed one day.

There were tiny detonations, little land mines, hidden hot spots into which I blindly strode. Nothing nasty, nothing sketchy, nothing like jail-time or love children or V.D. But, there was baggage and danger I didn’t truly appreciate the weight of until he telephoned me one evening, shouting down the wires about the evidence he’d spent months amassing to prove his case once and for all: I am a horrible person. An hour later, I put the phone down, felt incredibly sad for as long as it took me to draw a deep breath, and then, like January, felt relief that brought a smile to my lips for the first time in months.

Autumn is a season I’ve swam through like fog. And now, a fresh year in which to pause…break…move forward.

Tonight, there will be this:

And tomorrow, there will be this:

A fresh view, a fresh year. And, through 2011, my focus will be this:

Well, the novel at any rate. Perhaps there will be a little less effort in the bourbon and boozing department than there was during 2010.

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