Saturday, December 31, 2016

Is that all?

“You got any great plans for New Year’s?” asked a very pleasant clerk in a store yesterday.

“Well, actually, no.” I neglected to say that we were going to a party tonight (not exactly a New Year’s party, but anything on New Year’s Eve must be that de facto. And I didn’t mention that we’d be at a New Year’s Day brunch tomorrow. So I guess I was the bearer of faux news or something.)

“Really?” asked she, a bit stunned.

“To tell the truth, I’m not all that great a fan of New Year’s Day. It has always seemed to me to be artificial. It’s a day like any other. A new year begins for me at my birthday. That’s how I count time, and my birthday is nearly half a year away from January 1.  I'm going to be as happy January 2 as I am today.

“Well, I see your point.”

I realized that I was beginning to sound like a curmudgeon, a profile I don’t intend to adopt. So I softened.

“I think it’s fine to celebrate. We probably need more occasions to celebrate.”

“I hope it snows. Really snows big.”

“Well, that would mean shoveling. I used to like snow. Then I reached the point when I’d shoveled enough of it. Now all I can think about when it snows is California.”

“My brother didn’t come shovel me out the last time it snowed a lot.”
what a really big snow looks like in our neighborhood

I looked out the window where two streets came together and crossed a third. “Look. I think it is going to snow on Kenyon Street. Those clouds! But Park Road will be spared. The sun is shining.”

“Well I’ll be.”

“So looks as if you’ll have a fifty per cent chance of a happy New Year.”

She handed me my receipt. “Would you mind holding the door for that gentleman?” I turned. He was in a wheelchair hunched over.

“I’d be delighted to.” I opened the door. “Hi!” He smiled and spoke, either the victim of a stroke or maybe some degenerative disease.

“Happy New Year.”

I walked on.

© Frank Gasque Dunn, 2016

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