Saturday, December 31, 2005

tic toc tic toc tic toc tic toc

what are you doing new year’s?

What am I ever doing: eating, drinking, taking photos, grinning, thinking, spinning back ‘n forth back ‘n forth, writing.

what are your new year’s resolves?

I suppose I should eat less, drink less, take more or fewer photos – depending whom I’m with, spin less, write more, grin more… Oh, I don’t know. Leave me alone.

what was the most memorable moment of 2005?

You’re asking about good moments? Because I had three significant ones and they happened in spring, summer and fall. I guess last winter was sort of a dry spell moment-wise.

What do you hope for in 2006?

Fewer rotten tomatoes in this world, more patience within me in dealing with the rotten tomatoes in my own back yard.

How will you improve Ocean in the year ahead?

Take writing lessons? C’mon, I try. Okay, I’ll try harder.

Any parting words for 2005?

Yeah. I had the year of years. Nothing happened as planned. I survived. To everyone’s survival and to positive outcomes. Especially to you, readers. I favor the chosen few who read Ocean. For you I wish music within and pristine silence of moon-drenched fields all around.

Happy New Year.

where are you going, where are you going, will you take me with you?

Where am I heading on this next-to-last-day in December?

No, Oscar, I am not having an existential moment. This is a very real query.

A hint:

Christmas 05 199
with lots of cheese and a holiday twinkle

Anyone who has ever lived in Chicago will answer: what the hell, that’s a deep dish Lou Malnati’s pizza. Are you in Chicago or did you order on-line?

I am indeed in Chicago and will be here for the next few days. My family follows me to Madison and so it is only just and proper and good that I should follow them here for the New Year’s celebration. We like our habits, external pressures and legal proceedings notwithstanding. For us, there is only one right way to flip that last calendar page and that way is to sit together at a table and eat and drink and make fun of life as we have known it in the year that just passed.

Driving to Chicago in something that vacillates between a snowstorm and a downpour, I realize that this stretch of road is rapidly becoming either a journey toward heaven or hell. The blinding slush storm is breathtakingly beautiful in a fantastically terrifying sort of way.

Squeezed together in a zippy blue car, with suitcases and parcels piled around us, the three of us sing. Loudly. It is what we do on road trips. There’s some harmony, there’s even some recognition of lyrics. True, I would not know a correct lyric from the flag pledge, but I listen hard and follow an eight of a beat behind.

As the rain/snow swirls and trucks speed past and spray us with extra barrels of freezing wetness, I keep my ex’s car in the rear view mirror (as he wants to follow close behind), and we speed forward into the unknown. Oh, alright, not really The Unknown. I know my way around these parts. Still, it is, on this stormy day, a blind journey, to the notes of Journey and Paisley and Williams, and at the end of the day there is this fantastic Chicago style pizza. I live a good life.