So, the final day of 2020, come at last.
A singularly challenging year. A fatal year, a plague year, one where 330,000 Americans died of a disease that was thoroughly booted by our bumbling nincompoop of a president, Losey L. McLoser.
Don't do that little celebratory dance quite yet. Still a few hours left. Much can go wrong in that time, if 2020 is any guide. A volcano could rear out of Grant Park at 10 p.m.. Or a meteorite to come winging in your direction at a quarter to twelve.
Should midnight approach, and we make it there, to the end of Dec. 31, you might be wondering what you can do to ceremoniously bid farewell to 2020. A rude gesture, an obscene toast, a guttural shout, something that will represent the year in all its splattering splendor.
Don't bother. I already beat you to it. You will be hard-pressed to conjure up a tribute to 2020 more fitting than the one that fell—okay, was hurled—into my lap Wednesday.
I was on the sofa late yesterday afternoon, reading the new New Yorker—an excellent Talk of the Town piece by Adam Gopnik pointing out how autocracy is the rule, and democracy the exception, and how all the elements of fear and ignorance we've seen rampant this year have been faithful handmaidens to our national experiment because, well, they're omnipresent. "The only way to stave off another Trump is to recognize that it always happens."
And I was feeling ... well, calm, and ready, fortified by Gopnik's perceptive take on the situation. Poised, and maybe even a little comfortable, as the winter daylight dwindled. So comfortable that I beckoned Kitty, my faithful dog over, and boosted her up, so we could sit on the couch together, one prone master, one loving dog.
Poor dog, she's had a rough few days—hurt her knee Sunday, a torn ligament probably, then poked and prodded by two vets, on a variety of anti-inflammatories and herbal joint remedies. None of the long walks we both love for ... shit ... eight weeks. If that is even possible. 2021 is already souring. I can't even walk the goddamn dog.
Accept. Endure. Overcome. All will be well. A moment of calm. I look at Kitty, scritch her behind the ear. And Kitty looks at me with her large, liquid, brown eyes. Which grow larger and more liquid, taking on a certain expression of ... distress. Yes, distress. The significance of which dawns on me just in time to slide her a few inches to the left so she is right over my midsection, when ... well, let's draw the veil a bit ... she coughs, and then lets loose a geyser. Like Old Faithful. Which luckily I catch with my cupped hand, trapping it against my body, sparing the sofa.
I call for my wife, who run for towels and a garbage bag.
Much scooping and daubing and squeegeeing.
What better way to ring out the year?