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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Babes of 2013

It's 8:49 AM on the first day of the new year.

The year looked modern at first, that two thousand in front of the thirteen.  But then I imagined what people thought of the new year when it was 1913.  How modern did they they feel?  What will 2113 feel like?

I just don't believe we're the big shits we think we are.  We're just ego fat, overly proud.  And this is dangerous.

I woke up this morning thinking about Korea, that their missiles can reach us.  I thought of Kennedy and Cuba.  I thought about the newly approved tax increase on the "wealthiest Americans" and what Obama's agenda must look like.  I'd just woken from a dream about holding a baby boy, my grandchild in the dream, and trying to explain to a stranger how I obtained the child and why he had tattoos all over his forehead -- green snakes and red paisleys, vines and leaves and tiny dots.

Baby new year?  Who knows.

Today means black-eyed peas, though no one will eat them beyond the obligatory one bite.  We just want luck, that's all.  Dumb tradition, but aren't they all?  Sweet and dumb.  What I should really be doing is making out my Will.  I started filling out paperwork over a year ago then stopped.  I suppose it was disturbing, giving away my stuff while I'm still alive, planning my burial and such.  But it has to be done.

But not today.  Maybe next week, or the week after.  I'll get to it.  I promise myself this.  And my tattooed grandchild.

I'll be babysitting my actual grandchild tomorrow, my first, a little girl.  Her mother goes back to work and the nanny is already leaving town for four days.  So I'll have two month old baby London for three days this week, and we'll see what I can remember about infants.  It's only been five years since my youngest was born, but I'm getting old and can't remember much, or maybe I've blocked out the horrors.  It's hard to say.  I think I'm resting on my laurels, looking back at my work -- four kids -- and feeling like the big shit I'm not.  What if my kids were within an inch of their lives all along, and I just got lucky?  Or they did.  But they didn't know to wish for it, eat peas for it, or that they were small and vulnerable.  I don't think any of us are aware of how vulnerable we are until much later on, when we're remembering all the times we drove a little tipsy or slept with the guy whose name we couldn't remember or that time we missed death by a mere micrometer.

We never know exactly how lucky we are, or when that luck will run out.

I had a thought last night, just after midnight while New York was cleaning up all the confetti in Times Square.  I imagined living in a war zone.  I imagined what other humans consider normal, not natural but normal.  A normal nightmare.  I imagined what the bombs must sound like, how much cortisol rushes through a targeted population daily.  I imagined being hungry, vulnerable, dirty.  Homeless.

It took a while to fall asleep but I did, even as a few fireworks continued in the night, illegal here but they happen anyway.  It was like the fourth of July, the brand new year, the beginning of what will seem old one day.  Those in 2113 won't remember me, will never know I existed, though I fell asleep thinking of them.  And wondering about luck.

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