Life is beautiful and pure as ice. My New Year was kind of odd: uneventful and eventful at once, one of those evenings that's disappointing in terms of events -- nothing happened, really, not the way I wanted it to, I didn't sleep with anyone, nor did my mind meet anyone else's, nor did I break any glass, or weep, or confess anything -- but I had a strange, secret, profound experience anyway, but I discount it because nothing material accompanied it. I even discounted second sight! Goddammit. This is because the life of the mind runs its own strange course with all its strange wonders, but it's like a subterranean river that you don't really pay attention to, when you're above ground. I have the feeling that that's an awful and useless analogy, but anyway I smoked an unfiltered cigarette tonight at some bar watching boys from my high school play guitar but mostly watching nothing and reading literary biographies in the darkness, and I'm dizzy and in no state for any analysis. The point is that it's kind of tragic that a genuine mental whizpopper like genuine clairvoyance (please see the goddam quiz on lanceandeskimo this week for details) is eclipsed, for me, by my need to tot up physical events (the yellowish man touched my breast; I hit him; I kissed two men; I swallowed peyote.)
I will not talk at any more length about that night, except that I will tell you that my Christmas was a delight, sunk deep in the heart of the bayou or whatever you want to call it, in my mother's parlor with candles lit everywhere and all flickering at once in their cups of red glass and clear glass, like a fractured omnipresent heartbeat. At Christmas my mother becomes necessarily Catholic, though her general mode is a kind of passionate atheism, I think, and pastes images of saints everywhere, and decks red-velvet virgins with all the family jewels (no, not testicles or whatever you'd like to call them) that she never wears, and we sing and sing every pious song in the little book, and then we drink Sidoux's Holiday Eggnog out of the big golden chalice from whence it rises like a great cloud, pregnant with angels. Also I received driving gloves but not a car, but maybe a car later in the year, my father says, and I laugh, but he looks at me as if he means it. My grandmother came by on Christmas Eve with her strange presents, and lots of hooch, so I got that, and my mother ignored her but the four of us went to midnight Mass.
Still it was a sad Christmas for us because someone very precious to our family has died, and perhaps I will allow this to explain why I haven't written in so long, but it isn't really why, I don't think. But I won't say more about it because I don't have the words for death, for that kind of loss, only for stupid meaningless losses: of innocence, of hope, of gloves, whatever -- those things are inconsequential, easily faked, easily forgotten.
And so I made it home (to here, I mean, not the bosom of the family) for New Year's, and entertained vague hopes of going to Eunice's, in the vague hope that Stephen would be there, because of course I lost his telephone number and God knows who was going to call whom and anyway I'd rather run into him somewhere while I was drunk than call him. He probably still has my number, but either he's not interested or he feels that it's my turn to call him, and it's been a long time, two months really, so no one is going to call anyone. Which is irritating because he was pretty fucking interesting, and who else is interesting now? I have eaten spaghetti in a restaurant with a checkered tablecloth in the company of a moody gentleman who used to work at the same paper as I did. I have gone to the movies with an awkward friend of a friend who wanted me to see this movie. I have traced the lines of a man's tattoo in a bar. It said, "God's Angel." None of this is very much fun.
So anyway I failed to call Eunice in time, and she was already out when I called her, and I didn't have the patience for anyone else, and so I changed into a huge yellow nightgown covered in very fine sharp lace and I mussed up my hair and took to drinking gin on the sofa and watching my face in the mirror, and in the warm glow of my enormous Christmas tree I considered it to be a very nice face with fine, elegant lines that deserved more than gin and a nightgown on New Year's, so I stumbled prettily into the hall and started making conversation with anyone I found and ended up getting along well with the Native American and his slick choleric Western pal. Do not worry. They left my house by dawn. I hope to God they never find it again.
But yes: somehow, after the New Year begins, I always feel very clean and pure and very happy, especially when it snows and snows and makes it impossible to walk anywhere, when even the handrails on the stairs to my apartment door are glazed with ice so that you can't get a grip on them. I like to feel precarious, and slip everywhere like a little ice-skater on her way to work.