A January Visitor


2014? Is that you? Oh my goodness! Hello, hello, yes, yes. Have you been here long?

Oh, my, of course, yes, you have, haven’t you? Almost 24 hours you say? Well, this is awkward, isn’t it? But you see, I have my excuses. I was so terribly busy this past month on vacation in Mexico City and then doing battle with strange tropical viruses and editing deadlines and I totally spaced the fact that you were on your way at all.

That sounds terrible doesn’t it? And you just standing there all this time waiting for me to notice you and all. You should’ve rung the bell again. You should’ve yelled louder!

Matter of fact, I’m rather ill-prepared for your arrival. Normally, I’d have a nice, home-cooked list of resolutions ready, and a dish of steadfastness on the coffee table for us to dig into if we get peckish, and perhaps a sparkler or two. And definitely a bit of champagne. As it is, my cupboard’s rather bare.

Oh, well, this is a little awkward, isn’t it?! Did I already say that? At any rate, come in! Let me take your coat. That shabby thing does you no favors! Sit! Sit down. You look like I need a drink. HA! Let’s just get comfortable and have a little chat about how we ought to spend your visit, shall we? Just one shake of a lamb’s tail …

Here, here, I’ve rustled up a plate of courage and earnestness. Stuff I found in the back of the pantry, but it’s still fresh enough. It’ll go well with this wine. “Fixed Purpose” vintage, I believe. Steels the blood like no other, and we may need it, with all we’re about to get into! Drink up, drink up. Yes, there we go, much better. Mind if I sit next to you? Maybe hold hands beneath the afghan?

Ah, that’s nice and cozy. What’s that you say? You’ll be here 12 entire months? Well, that gives us a bit of time to get to know each other. But I bet it goes faster than we think. These sorts of visits always do and what is a person left with at the end? A few half-chewed promises and a dusty curio of resolve, a pocketful of candy wrappers and dirty dollar bills and another year shuffling out the back door faster than you can say Feliz Navidad? Not this time, NO, SIREE! This is different, what you and I have.

Refill? Yes? Don’t mind if I do, too. This is, after all, a big occasion. Have I told you already that I am just so very, very glad you are here? No? I am. I truly am. I’ve been waiting for you. 2013 was great, sure, but he’s old news by now. I’ve moved on, you see, to better things.

Better like what? Better like you, of course.  Don’t be coy, you little minx. Have I mentioned that you are just so very fetching in that winter scarf of yours? And don’t get me started on your numbers … The flirty, come-hither curve of your “2,” that sweet and wide-eyed “0,” the no-nonsense “1” running straight up your middle like an exclamation. And that “4”! I am smitten! All those angles criss-crossing this way and that, getting my heart all in a tangle. The effect is simply bewitching!

Oh, you, come here and give me a hug. We’re going to get along great I can just TELL!


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