Here’s to all the jittery girls, who push their feet into impossible shoes and wear shimmering dresses.
Here’s to all the guys who stand around holding beer in plastic cups, flexing their shoulders.
Here’s to the sixty-somethings with fire in their eyes, spitting piss-and-vinegar at the mere suggestion of slowing down.
Here’s to the kids running through wedding rehearsals with the ties of their dresses flying behind, and their miniature suit-coats flapping.
Here’s to the clusters of grandmas and aunties in the kitchen with aprons tied over their Sunday-best, standing over steaming soup pots and lowered oven doors.
Here’s to the old maids on the balconies sneaking cigarettes and glances at their watches.
Here’s to sleepless nights, and lousy poetry, and laughter over the phone, right before the sobs and the soothing murmurs.
Here’s to you — and here’s to me — and here’s to the sleeping dogs in their beds on the hearth, and the faraway grown-up children who only call home when they need advice about things they don’t want to disclose to their friends.
And here’s to the parents who listen patiently, and speak wisely about subjects completely alien to them, but which sound like something that might have happened once, a long time ago, and maybe their suggestion will work.
Here’s to the unwritten song, and the clean page, and the unpainted canvas, waiting in the midnight hours, the sleepless time, when every word racing through your mind seems like gold.
It’s the witching hour of the twentieth day of the twenty-sixth month of My Year Without Complaining. I can’t sleep. The ringing in my ears fills the room. Life continues.