My hands are shaking a little bit. There might be a smidgen of the hot jelly making the prickly-pear points in my eyeballs. What feels rather like a mildly giant piece of wood is currently growing in the back of my throat. I can feel it shifting whenever I swallow.
This doesn’t have anything to do with the Louisville Free Public Library .
These are all descriptors I am using in an attempt to avoid the blatant truth of what I actually happen to be doing here. I’m avoiding you. I don’t what to look you in the eye, today. I’m afraid I’m not going to do this right. This Last Moment of Last Article.
Yes, I’m crying. Just a touch. Enough to be annoying or somewhat awkward on public transit. This is not sobbing – there is no real and brilliant catastrophe shining down my face. I would own that. Your cheeks all salty; you make a lighthouse out of your sorrow when you sob, when you surrender to whatever turmoil has been percolating for just too long inside and needs to make the burnt and bitter rain out of your face for a minute.
It’s a thing. Like giving birth. This also doesn’t have anything to do with the Louisville Free Public Library or its Main branch or the New Year’s Eve party  they will be hosting on December 31st.
Other people are more willing to let you fall apart this way – with The Sob. Let you make a puddle of liquefied bones on the floor. A puddle of Self. It’s indecent; it’s like having your intestines noodling on the floor. Like you’ve been shot. But strangers are suddenly not strangers, usually, in the same way when they see a literal or emotional stomach erupt before their eyes. They have arms that are open, here.
Did I mention I am not doing this? The Sob? I’m not sobbing. I’m very good at it, though. Trust me. I can bleat out a veritable aria of heartache when the lightning-mood of Pain strikes.
The New Year’s Eve Party at the Louisville Free Public Library’s Main branch this Monday, December 31st, is totally free, by the way. And it starts at 2pm, and promises to be a great way to engage families in some end-of-year celebration before that glitzy ball crashes in New York. There will be craft time. Craft time will involve glitter. Glitter is just wonderful.
This might be why I’m just making a small amount of sad fizz instead of the flood of anguish right now, this thing about me being incredibly skilled at the The Sob. I’ve done a lot of The Sob this year (this year is, by the way, almost over). There was a lot of Life that happened up in here, and I’ll be honest – I’m not ready. I don’t want to let go. So this little creep of spittle in my eyes is showing the scared-child fear for me. The monster under the bed shaped like 2013.
2012 was made of arrowheads and glass and they made a lot of splinters in my various parts. But I’m attached now. Involved now. I’ve got Stockholm Syndrome. And I’m not ready yet. This might be part of the “I’m avoiding you” thing I mentioned earlier. I want to be poignant today. That was kind of the goal I decided on when I woke up. Uh oh.
If I’m going to have my cold fingers ripped out of this year’s hand in just a smattering of days, I want to puff up my literary chest and burp a cataclysmic crescendo of unparalleled word beauty. I want to drip the saccharine nectar of Meaning, lace it with lyric and language candy. I want this last time. Last thing. Last Moment of Last Article – here it comes! – to make our toes curl up in that thrumming tingle.
That’s so silly. I’m so silly. This is silly. Take your youngins’ to the New Years Eve Party and get crafty and silly for free at that most wonderful community watering hole – the Library. If you’re going to end a year, you should always end it around books and people and other Good Things.
I’m so silly. Me and my frantic goals of poignancy. Words are supposed to just fall out when they’re hot with beating wings. I know this. Their arms pump without effort and they just slide down your tongue like gummy candy and you don’t need to do anything except hold your jaw wide open so they have enough room for a good take-off. You just need to stay out of the way. The “heck-outta” kind of Out Of The Way.
But – look at me – I don’t want to stay out of the way, here. Look at me: an obstinate toad standing like a brick wall right where I know I should not. I’m clogged with mortar.
It’s because I’m afraid. I don’t know what to do with Last Moments. It’s like a sick baby in your arms. Let me tell you something about them. Last Moments:
People don’t like to say Goodbye. The Bye is never going to be as Good as it needs to be. Whatever verbal, emotional and physical contract established there during Last Moment is just not something that could ever be an adequate and honest summary of whatever it is that is ending. It’s thin. Vapor. A shade.
It’s why people don’t say Goodbye. Or why others try to say it four times and wind up jumping out of a car, delirious with no sleep and their heart on fire. That last one may also be mildly a thing. But that freight train of Last Moment is going barrel into your pathetic wall of human-toad stubbornness. It’s going to obliterate you. You poor Humpty-Dumpty. Nobody is ever ready for a freight train.
You should huddle up close with others as we finish this year and tie it off. Huddle close and maybe do some singing and some hugging and talk about the chronological moments of 2012 that you remember the best. It really doesn’t need to be scary if you do it with other people.
So. Here it is. Last Moment. Still not ready. What do I say? Here it is.
The New Year’s Eve Part at the Louisville Free Public Library, Monday, December 31st, at 2pm. The Louisville Free Public Library’s Main branch is located at 301 York Street.
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