the flashback episode.

I don’t have any endearing or redemptive anecdotes today. I’ve been getting up at noon and, when my mom has fallen asleep on the double bed next to me, I lay awake, the world swirling around me in the dark.

2008 started with my getting a haircut and going on a date with a tall, heavyset Long Islander with a ponytail and a job at a hip hop radio station in midtown. My hairdresser, Massimo, knew before I opened my mouth that I was going to ask to “go short” that day. He poured the wine, told his assistant to use the apple jojoba conditioner, poured more wine and, when I wrapped a woolly scarf around my neck to prepare for going back out into the January night, waved a hand and told his cashier to “get a photo of her just like that.” His two salons were lined with autographed Polaroids of smiling, well-shorn New Yorkers; he had taken half a dozen of me over the past two years. I met the Long Islander at the corner of Houston and Lafayette. We drank a few fancy drinks, kissed in the truck, and I went home to my apartment in Brooklyn.

No, wait. 2008 started with my girlfriend Sarah laughing at the site of my rabbit, Flip, hopping across the living room. She had shepherded my brother and I to a Gogol Bordello concert for New Year’s Eve and spent the night on our couch/captain’s bed. To her, rabbits belonged outside, on a farm, not sniffing the dining room chairs.

No, wait, 2008 started with my telling another friend that “I needed you to be a grownup this week,” and watching her walk out of my apartment for the last time, while my brother and his girlfriend, both freshly insulted by this friend, listened from the kitchen.

No, wait, 2008 started with my finding a new home for the first rabbit I had adopted before Christmas and couldn’t keep when the second rabbit won my heart. The polite East Indian divorced dad called us from downstairs and we carried the cage holding the fat albino Violet down to the street, explained how often she needed her hay changed, and let him carry her off into the darkness.

No, wait, 2008 started with glass after glass of Absolut and chardonnay and Russian beer. It started with train rides through Brooklyn, hanging from the pole watching grafitti-scarred buildings pass outside. It started with clients calling in search of production artists comfortable with both Quark and InDesign, with candidates turning the pages of their portfolios, with my searching every morning for clothes that fit over my stress-bloated stomach and antidepressant-bloated arms and thighs.

2008 ends with episodes of “Frasier” on my brother’s TV, talking to Marcus on Skype, and analysis, so so much analysis, of what has happened to my family.

And in the middle? The middle of 2008 held a twenty-month-old Catalan boy throwing pebbles at pigeons in the park. A naked three year old running around the dining room to evade the trousers I pleaded with her to put on. Wading into the Mediterranean while a girlfriend sunbathed on the beach. Walking through Exeter with a handsome, brilliant Englishman. Holding my cousin’s baby boy. Drinking spicy chai with Uke while she knitted. Walking through Exeter with a handsome, talented, brilliant, funny, sexy, charming, thoughtful Englishman.

These images swirl around me, at night, leading me to wonder, what did it all mean, what was it all for, and where is it all going?

It’s got to work out.

Tell me it will all work out.

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