2014. What a mothereffer you could be. The warmest year on record except for every day I spent in Los Angeles? You brat. You KNOW how cold I get.
But besides the usual shit, which has been documented so diligently, and perhaps maybe a bit too much, if you ask my family, this year had its' moments. And it is within me to be able to take the crazy along with the good.
Which is good.
Because there was a lot of fucking crazy.
(There really was, guys.)
So, 2014. What good hath you brought?
This fucking kid.
Watching her become a person is probably the dopest thing I have ever seen.
She is so funny.
She is so full of light.
She is so snuggly.
She talks now. She has ideas and plans and she executes them.
She is always making me fake hamburgers and they always taste the same, like disgusting plastic, because I pretend to eat them and inevitably taste some and I pretend to choke, and she always laughs, which we'll worry about later and give her Heimlich lessons.
She is confident and assured.
She knows when to go for the laugh.
She knows when to be pouty. (I taught her that.)
There will never be another Christmas again where she is two, beginning to understand the wonder of the season.
Where she rearranges the ornaments she likes and calls the tree her "Minnie tree."
There will never be another first time in New York City.
She fit right in. She watched everything. She felt it, and I got to be witness to her growth, to her changing, to her being.
How could the year be so bad when I've got that?
Time Spent in Los Angeles
There is something so specific about the light in LA, the way it bounces and shimmers from the East Side to the West.
It's a special place.
I've tried to explain how to love it to my friends who live in New York, but they are snooty about surviving all four seasons.
I never had to try to love it. I went there, I was sixteen, and I knew I would end up there one day.
And so much shit has happened since, that every time I land at LAX (four times this year), I head outside, breathe in and out and feel immensely grateful.
There are few places I feel at home.
My parents' house, my grandmothers' house, New York, and LA.
(Genevieve and I are flying out New Year's Eve. We will be in Santa Monica by 4:30, just to watch the last sun of the year descend upon the ocean.)
This Ding Dong Doggie
For never leaving my side, for keeping my feet warm, for hogging the bed, for being OK when I exchanged you for a human partner, for coming back when things ended, for being a dumb dog who doesn't understand a fucking word I'm writing. You are easy, simple company, Shea. I never truly understood the whole man's best friend thing until this dog refused to leave my side as I recovered from hospital stay after hospital stay. Way to kill it at being a dumb dog, Shea Stadium Bergin.
Most nights I forgot how to sleep and so I stayed up, watching The West Wing, being less productive than any of the guys on Tinder I meet who live in the parents' basement.
Shit was bad.
But I would always look forward to daylight, because I knew I would drag myself up to see the light.
On the good days I would walk East, Shea tied to me, and stride straight toward the great blue sea.
The sun would crack open, yellow as a yolk, and we would glide into the day.
(Usually by falling back asleep.)
My most peaceful moments are when I am within something bigger than myself.
When I feel altered and changed by something that does not belong to me, but to all of us.
Universal and whole.
Travel, or: the reason I have no money.
I had to be so many places this year.
I had to go. I had to have momentum. I had to do something other than be alone with my sickness and my sadness.
And so I moved around. I glided, when I could glide.
I spent a couple months in Brooklyn, but that was not far enough.
And so I headed to Seattle and the Pacific Northwest, and down to Los Angeles.
And then I had the opportunity to surf in Mexico,
and I did that, even though it hurt.
And many times I could not get up, from bed or on the damn surfboard.
Some days my particular afflictions feel bolder than they were the day before, and these days sink me.
In Mexico, I swam.
The rest of you.
There are many things I've done or said or fucked up that I regret.
I treat myself pretty badly sometimes, and I can do it to others too.
What a jerk I can be.
I still have this big beating heart that lives outside of me, that is there for me. I have numbers I can call when I need help.
I have my parents, who are saddled with the task of caring for me, yet never make me feel like a burden.
The same goes for my siblings, whose love is beyond measure.
And the friends I've had since elementary school, and high school and college.
We had great weddings this year, and gatherings in Denver and the Poconos. I got to move in packs.
Whether it was with family or friends,
I had a pack.
And that made this year all the more liveable.
So thank you all.
Because I can say eff this year, or I can see, look, I got to watch children grow and change.
And while I am not grateful for sickness,
I do believe that it has given me a bitter but knowing
perspective of the way life can kick you in the balls, time and time again, while handing you over the most precious of gifts, time and time again.
See you all in 2015.