A year, like any other, but unlike
so many before.
This one came in, stumbled at
the threshold, spilled its wine on
the white carpet and didn’t
apologize. It was lost from there.
Like a lot of drunks, 2016 didn’t
intend to do it. It was just an accident.
A mistake. It started off with the highest
ideals only to fall into a house of ill repute,
with cocaine crusted around his bloodied nostrils.
It just happened.
So what if 2016 was a serial killer bent
on eliminating the worlds beloved
celebrities, musicians and idealists,
it also took care of a lot of bad people
no one will mourn. Who will remember
2016 did that? “Nobody,” snorts 2016.
2016 wanted to go to the classy bar,
the one downtown, where the tablecloths
are white, the drinks are fancy and the people
are beautiful. But the bouncers wouldn’t let
2016 in. They’d had quite enough of 2015’s
shenanigans and knew better.
2016 didn’t take it well, it went
on a bender of epic proportions. Drinking
and drugging its way from home to home,
heart to heart, and funeral parlor to funeral
parlor. Shushing people like Dudley Moore
in Arthur and tripping over imagined bumps.
The world just watched as 2016 bumped into
furniture, street lamps, movie stars, gorillas,
politicians, cops, robbers, the guilty, and the
innocent alike. The world just did what enablers
do; they looked the other way and hoped 2016
would just figure it out on its own.
So here we sit, 2016 and me, at the
end of a dusty bar, dust motes drifting
through the morning sunlight, swirling
around our breakfast beers, the jukebox
is stuck on “American Pie” by Don McLean,
and 2016 doesn’t feel well.
“I think I’m gonna throw up,” said 2016.
“You probably should,” I said.
“I mean, what happened? Where did it go
so wrong? Was it me? Was it them,” asked 2016.
“I really don’t know. I was too busy watching you
moon astronauts and eliminate critical thinking,” I said.
“Right, right, that was pretty funny,” said 2016.
2016 got up from its leathery stool and stretched.
“Maybe I’ll just go to the crapper,” said 2016.
“Yeah, maybe you should,” I said.
“Tell 2017 not to take my seat,” said 2016 as it stumbled
toward the restroom.
“Sure. I’ll do that,” I mumbled.
I looked down toward the opposite end of the bar,
a young 2017 was playing with a thin drink straw in
a fancy cocktail, with fruit and a little parasol.
2017 was eyeing us with lust.
“Not yet baby,” I said, “Not yet.”
2017 pouted and turned away.
I heard a flush from the restroom and 2016
walked back into the bar room
with its pants around its ankles.
“One more round barkeep,” 2016 shouted.
The bartender frowned but got the drinks.
“I broke your toilet too, by the way,” said 2016.