First I would like to apologize to James for not making it to your dad’s calling hours.I was fully intending on being there but as you will see I got side tracked. I was looking forward to seeing your son who I haven’t seen since he was a few months old, and meeting your wife. My condolences. I think I have reached the age where I actually look forward to funerals because I know it brings people together. Those of us who live far apart either in physical distance or mental distance.
I am pretty ambivalent about New Years. I start my days over whenever I want so, a “new year” can begin whenever I choose. I’m not one for hinging my life, goals or dreams on a date in the year. The expectations and disappointments would wreck me.
I wound up this day by driving thru East Butt Fuck in a extra large van in an extra large snow storm. Why? you might ask…because I was caught off guard. And the fears I have I don’t know I have until I am in the middle of East Butt fuck with 4 kids in the car and my Tourette’s kicks in and I start saying out loud “Oh my fucking God. I don’t fucking believe this shit. What the fuck??!!” Yeah well, the white trash just goes with the van. I can’t help myself.
Seriously the ONE fucking road sign said “Welcome to East Butt Fuck established just now for YOU stupid” The hills were something out of a nightmare. Straight down with 90 degree curves. Posted speed limit on a good day is 25 mph. Tonight, they were sheer ice. No one owns a plow in East Butt Fuck much less salt. I just stood on the brake and pretended to steer down the hill all the while cursing the road, the van, God and life.
Ofcourse I am out of gas. I pass a sign that says Stockbridge and I start to sweat. I can’t think of where Stockbridge is. I know I see the school closed all the time. I know I dropped off the mislenous kid between Canofsoda and Caz so, there is no way I wound up in the Ardirondacks….I don’t think…doing 15 miles an hour for about 45 minutes I guess I could have. I don’t know. I couldn’t think straight. All I could do was be mad and swear randomly. And neither was helping me stay on the road.
I came upon an accident where a Jeep had flipped on to it’s side into a ditch and I am passing with extreme caution. Apparently TOO extreme as I got stuck and couldn’t make it up the hill. I have to back up which is about impossible because the back windshield wiper has decided it’s tired and doesn’t feel like working. The back windshield is totally covered and I can see nothing. So, I have the two 15 yr olds in the way back telling me if I am going into the ditch or not. Yeah, like I trust them to understand that they hold my life and livelihood in their hands. They play video games where if you go in a ditch you just drive out of it.
I turn the freaking fucking bald tired boat around and slide down the hill almost into the 4 cop cars. I finally see a sign that says Oneida and want to punch someone. I start down that road and like a mirage there’s a Saveon. Stop and get gas and I’m on my way. I go thru Sherrill, into Oneida and I stop swearing. But I am still so mad that I decide to go home the EXTRA long way. THAT’ll show the van it can’t fuck with me. Yeah, that’s exactly what I was thinking. I was going to go from Oneida to Shittenango to Fayettevile to Manlius to Caz just to spite the van. And the roads and the DPW workers who don’t plow in East Butt fuck. That will teach them!!!
And so, what is normally a 25 minute drive took me over an hour and 15 minutes. Just the last part I mean. From when I found Oneida. The part before that took me over an hour.
I do love to drive….MY car…as long as it is not snowing. This piece of shit van and I are having a hate hate relationship. I fucking hate it. But I need it. And I need to be grateful for it. Much like many of my relationships with people. And I am unsure as to what lesson I was supposed to learn from all of this nonsense. If I took into consideration that this is the first day of the year, if I cared at all about that simple fact, this would be the worst fated thing to happen. This would be setting me up for the rest of the year to go badly. Lucky for me that I put NO stock into that sort of thinking. I won’t tell you last year was a bad year. Occasionally at the end of a very stressful day I will chalk it up to a “bad day” but that is for my own piece of mind.
I shouldn’t complain. I know many have it worse. And I am not complaining about the easy shit. The everyday petty annoyances that I hear so many complain about. I know better (most of the time). I have had enough loss in my life to know that the little shit doesn’t add up to much and I do not want to be that shallow. It’s not in the gifts given or not given, or the words said or not said, it’s not about the time spent or not spent. It’s bigger and much, much more intense than any of that. I know. I wish I didn’t. I wish that I could find fault without that nagging knowledge that I have far more faults than the ones I find in others. I wish I could complain with a clear conscious that others have nothing to complain about when they think of me. But life has not been that kind or easy to me. And as bad as it has been, it has been just as good. And it has been harder and more challenging for those around me.
I know these things. I have learned many hard lessons. I have been shown unconditional love from the most unexpected places and gratitude is a way of life for me. See the stupid shit that goes thru my mind when I take a 4 hour tour in a blinding snowstorm with no radio??? Happy fucking new year anyway.