2013, that is. I suppose it’s time to do one of those year-in-review things, and while I don’t mean for it to be one of those annoying Christmas letters that move from triumph to triumph, I guess I’ve got reasons for going to bed early, as I have most nights during the Christmas break.
There were triumphs, I think. The novel, the album, and a couple of short stories came out this year, and I hit what I imagine will be the ceiling for my career when I was promoted to full prof — even if I wasn’t in the classroom for my first semester with the new title. I have another short coming out in a couple of weeks, and I’ll let you know when that happens. I’m not James Franco or anything — just ask Mrs. M — but it’s been pretty productive.
But of course, my year was dominated by the month of September, as my brother was convicted of the murders of our mom and dad. And since then, I’ve had a sense of trying to orient myself to the world once again, with a level of success that varies from day to day. There’s a closure to that, but not the sort of capital-C Closure that I doubt exists anyway. As I’ve said, right now I feel like I’m standing somewhere in the blank space at a chapter’s conclusion, waiting for the page to turn.
And we’ve begun the process of turning another page as we prepare to move from Spackle Manor to our yet-undubbed new place in the next few months. Home and termite inspections took place today, and I bumped my head on the ceiling as I ascended the stairs from the den — something that will probably happen fairly often, if my history of klutziness holds. But I’m hoping that between the new place and my office, I’ll finally be able to get all my books onto the shelves. However, there are always more books…
The New Year is ultimately something of an arbitrary dividing line, I know, and perhaps the fact that Clan Mondo lives in the rhythms of the academic year underscores that knowledge. Still, there’s the sense of “What’s next?” that comes at these times. I’ve spent the past four years and change trying to make it through the Big Noise of my parents’ murders and the consequences of that, and I guess I have, with the help, love, and prayers of my family, friends, and yes, you, my readers — and you’ll never know how grateful I am for all of those. And I guess I’m at the beginning of the New Normal, and I guess I’m going to have to take some time to figure out how things operate here. Beyond the knowledge that I need to assemble some syllabi tomorrow, I’m still not sure what that’s going to involve. But I hope you’ll stick around as I try to move through it without bumping my head too often.
Quite the auld lang syne, I think. Thanks for sharing it with me.