I’m excited about 2023. There’s a lot I want to do next year. (This is the case every year.)
I’ve just broken a wine glass. I’m at my father’s house, and it feels auspicious, although I don’t know why. He has cheap glasses because we are his only wine-drinking visitors. He rarely drinks alcohol anymore, and when he does it’s either lager or a glass of whatever we are having. Anyway, the glass broke neatly at both the top and bottom of the stem, so there were three pieces of glass on the tiled floor. I hadn’t poured anything into it, so it was a cinch to tidy up. I got off lightly. I’ve put the pieces in a padded envelope, as per instructions, taped it closed, as per instructions, and dropped the package in the outside bin. It made a satisfying thunk as it hit the bottom.
We brought what was left of the Christmas dinner Chardonnay with us, and it had been in the fridge since we got here earlier today. I’m sipping it from a new glass. There are only two left. Somebody else must have broken the fourth. Maybe I did, but I can’t remember breaking it, not that that means anything. I’ve got a terrible memory for details. Some details. Unimportant details. Important things stay with me.
The nick on my hand has already scabbed over. Dad’s finger started bleeding yesterday. He’s eighty-seven. Thin skin. He didn’t know how it happened and said it had just split. I didn’t believe that, but who knows? I hope I get to be eighty-seven and discover my skin can just split like that. Getting fragile with old age is a gift. Perhaps there’s a connection between his cut and mine, a tunnel through time and space, and my broken wine glass somehow cut his thumb in the past.
The truth is, I try not to think about him too much when I’m home, and he is here, because he’s vulnerable and old, and he won’t move nearer to either me or my sister, and he won’t talk about alternatives, or support options, so forgetting is easier. But having him with us for Christmas reminds me how much I love him, and how much I’ll miss him when he’s gone.
I thought I was going to write about the exciting things I want to do in 2023, but instead I’ve written about bleeding, breakages, love, helplessness and loss. There’s always tomorrow, I guess.