December 31st, 2001

caillebotte_man at his window

Twenty Hours Before the New Year

I step carefully through the room, careful not to make noise, not to stub a toe on any of the things which now crowd the floor, such as the portable toilet which I recently emptied for the third time tonight. She has had almost no sleep for hours, and waking her would begin the cycle of chores again, and the constant groans. I must make sure that she remains covered, as the cold would surely wake her. I must adjust the covers carefully, as too much disturbance would wake her as well. When I am sure that she is covered and sleeping, I take a moment to slip outdoors and stand on the porch, away from the stifling smell and heat of the closed house.

All night the rain has been falling through the ground-hugging clouds. I shine my flashlight into the foggy air, and watch the blue-white light of its beam turn faintly orange just before it is swallowed in the darkness. The trees two hundred feet away are an indistinct blur, except in one spot where a glow emerges from a lighted window. I hear the distinct sound of nearby raindrops, but the more distant rain falls light, rapid, steady, with a sound like the ghost of applause.
caillebotte_man at his window

Numerical Palindrome

2002. Same forward and back. A thought crossed my mind. Maybe we could live the year backward, from December 31st to January 1st. Like T.H. White's Merlin. Everybody at LiveJournal is accustomed to things being backward, anyway.

In good news, I an only one hour behind on my schedule today. I managed to get six hours of uninterrupted sleep. I squeezed in a fifteen minute walk in the cool fresh air. And my e-mail inbox is down to fifty, and only about half of it looks like spam.

I know that the arbitrary western new year has already begun from Australia to Europe, and will soon begin on the east coast. Everyone is probably out partying, or already hung-over. I sort of like the fact that California is almost the last place to see the new day and the new year. I like to think of San Francisco in the mid 19th century, the only city of any significance for a thousand miles, sitting there in splendid isolation like a small light in a vast darkness. Being at the end of the clock brings back a bit of that sense of adventure, of being on the edge of something new, something amazing, awaiting wonders.

To all my LJ friends, and any wanderers who may happen upon this page, a happy new year.