Monday, December 31, 2012

I Resolve Nothing (But What About JR Lintstockings?)

This document was found in 1934, rolled-up and stuffed into an old whiskey bottle floating in the Wabash River near Terre Haute, Indiana.  It was written in charcoal on the back of a faded photograph of a woman in early-twenties attire, posing with a happy smile next to a Singer sewing machine.  Scratched into the photo is simply "Mother."  The writing on the back is sloppy, but it is noteworthy in that it was not riddled with grammatical and spelling errors, as most of the limited written material the hoboes left behind usually was.


I resolve to make a second pair of trousers, and to wash the ones I have.

I will make an effort to start conversations with something other than "I want to die."

I will only steal what I need, starting with the ring on No-Shoulders Smalltooth Jones' finger, should he freeze to death tonight.  I need that.

I will stand up straight, as Mother taught me.

I will go to church on Sundays, and I will do so to worship.  No more breaking in on Monday mornings to steal the offering, or on Saturday nights, to steal the wine.  At least, no more than necessary.

No more hookers.  They know I never have any money, and I always just get beaten up.

I will find gloves with more than two fingers intact.

I will appreciate the little things, like fine wine and walks in the park and evenings at the theatre, the soft hands of my many happy children and my beauty-queen wife, our warm feather bed, a quality filet mignon, a good Dodgers game on the wireless, and the writing in the New Yorker.  Ha ha ha - that's dumb.  I resolve to appreciate all that stuff, if ever I encounter it.

I resolve to learn how to juggle while riding a unicycle.  I can do either one separately; this is the year I need to put them together.

I will take down my pants before relieving myself, even in the winter.

This will be the year that I finally finish my novel.

I will learn to control my violent urges when I hear singing.

I will not get locked in any more box cars.

I will visit Mother's grave and leave some nice flowers, this year.

I will set fires only for warmth and to cook my squirrels and beans, not simply to watch things that I can't have go up in flames.

I resolve to spend less time out of doors.

I will get a job, and a home, and a new life.

Failing that, I will walk on, keep myself alive, and be grateful for the dawning of each new day.

I will walk on.      

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