My Year in Review

Well, Christmas is over now, and in less than one week it looks like I’ll be able to say goodbye to 2017 and greet the New Year. I have to say, all in all, this last year has treated me remarkably well.

But before I get into that I feel that I should recap; some of you may remember that there had been published, some years ago, excerpts from my personal diary (check the archives). This was done without my consent and under the erroneous belief that I had somehow perished in either a fight with a gun wielding quadruple-amputee, or in a fire that – according to the intro to the published diary – consumed my “home, garden, and life-sized wax figures.”

Most of this is not true. There was no fire, I am not dead, and damn it all my wax figures are not life-sized (they’re 7/8th scale). The guy with the gun (street name: Nugget), well, that happened, but I was only maimed, not killed. Now – how the excerpts had come to be in a stranger’s hands has never been revealed to me, nor has the reason for the publication. I can only assume that some rival held a grudge. Consequently I had no one to sue, and was forced to confront the newspaper that published the excerpts with threat of legal action. But who knew the Canton, Ohio Repository had access to such big-time lawyers?

Anyway the point that I’m trying to get at is that while the story of my demise was untrue, I have to admit that the content of the diary was, in fact, written by me.

The truth: Lizzy did take Sarah and run off to the Batu archipelago with Marcos, the pool-boy (not our pool-boy, someone else’s). This life-changing event set me on a downward spiral that manifested itself in many terrible ways, not least of which was the introduction of Prancercising® into my daily routine, and the week I spent in bed in the dark, sobbing and covered in sprouted kamut.

But, as they say, all wounds eventually heal. I did meet a woman along the bike path in Long Beach, and for a while I thought that our relationship would be a game-changer. Ultimately, though, her lengthy criminal record, lack of a home address, and inability to communicate in anything other than grunts proved a deal-breaker.

Also true: a film was made based on my novel on the migratory habits of the Black-tailed Godwit. Sadly, though, the actor C. Thomas Howell proved an ill fit for the subject matter, particularly considering the challenges of playing not one but two major roles: the heroic male lead Riz Gluant and his 4 year-old niece Dakota. There are some non-disclosure issues here, but let’s just say that after the ninth on-set meltdown the production had to be suspended. I just feel bad for the director, Dustin Diamond, who was trying in good faith to turn a new corner career-wise after so many years playing “Screech” on Saved by the Bell.

But that was years ago. Last I heard, Lizzy left Marcos and has taken Sarah to Paris, where they are both wildly successful snow-suit models and are dating the same man, a twenty-two year old Mime named Guy (pronounced like “Ghee”) who busks next to a dumpster behind the Fragonard Perfume Museum. They seem happy.

But back to 2017. Over the years I have become increasingly disillusioned with life in California, particularly in regards to the people there just being cool with everything and constantly saying things like “it’s all good,” and “no worries,” so last January I decided to take the leap and finally relocate to a place where I know I will be happy and where I will be accepted for who I am. Maybe you’ve heard of it – it’s an “Intentional Community” in an unincorporated patch of fallow land about 50 miles west of Tobyhanna, Delaware, populated only by Native Americans with a paralyzing fear of Bundt cakes. That they have accepted me – I mean, I love Bundt cakes! – is remarkable. It’s not much, but it’s home.

And I have, against what seemed like terrible odds, found love again. She makes acorn flour all day and wears the pelt of an albino Marmot on her head. Her name is Adsila, which I’m told means “Gathers Blossoms.” However she won’t let me touch her and calls me “Mafu-shanna,” which I’m told means “Hides Behind Bush.” Still, though, I am happy.

Professionally, I’m fine. I’ve stopped writing novels and essays and prefer to restrict my literary output to tiny, meaningful things that I scratch into the port-o-potty walls. I never get any feedback, but I, personally, think they’re pretty good.

So that’s been my year. In just a few short days I’ll be celebrating the start of the 2018 with all the members of my new community. I’ve looked into it, and apparently they spend New Year’s Eve engaging in a meaningful, contemplative ritual that involves interpretive dance, chanting, homemade lotions, over-cooked noodles, and lots of male nudity. I can’t wait!

Oh, and I’m hoping they’ll let me bring my wax figures! Fingers crossed!

Happy New Year!

-J

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