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New Years

I went to bed at 9:00 PM on New Years Eve. I guess my days of partying well into the afternoon are long gone. I would have stayed up a bit longer, but I watched Dick Clarke’s Rocking New Year’s Eve Party for an hour, and I realized I didn’t recognize one of the entertainers. It was not a pleasant revelation. After watching this horror show, I wasn’t sure if it was an example of the sad state I am in, or the sad state  our society is in.

I woke up at 1:00, 2:30, 4:00, 5:00 and 6:30 to pee. Each time I had to fight to get  my sleep apnea mask off. At 6:30, I finally got up for good, looked in the mirror and I was still morbidly obese. My ankles, knee, back and hands were still quite pained by arthritis and tendonitis.

I took a shower, fought to put on my compression socks, and orthodic  sneakers, popped my usual 14 morning pills shot up with insulin and waddled to the kitchen for some tea and toast.

I bundled up in a hoodie, sweatpants, gloves and a hat just to run out and pick up a newspaper (a task I use to perform in gym shorts and a tee shirt).

When I got to the store I realized I had to put a mask on. We are still in the middle of a pandemic that has already taken many lives.

As I quickly perused the front page, Doctor Faucci was warning us that this thing is not over, “the worst is yet to come, before it gets better”.

I looked for a photo of President Elect Joe Biden and current President Donald Trump, together shaking hands and promising to work as one to make this country great again. I was unable to find it.

I scanned through the obituaries and people were still dying. The good news was that my name was not yet in there.

I discussed the luncheon menu with my wife. What use to be a big luncheon at my aunt Tess’s house, with a crowd of people consuming pounds of spaghetti aglio e olio with pine nuts and anchovies and  plenty of Italian bread, would now be three of us having a salad.

As I sat down by myself (without the usual crowd of viewers) to watch the ND  game, something dawned on me. Some things have changed, but most have stayed the same even with a new year.

Although hundreds of people through all walks of life  had promised that once the ball dropped and the clock ticked to January one, the new year would mean a complete change, everything was the same as yesterday. There was no political harmony, pain had remained and the mask from the 2020 pandemic was still choking off my fresh air.

But for some reason, I wasn’t disappointed. I was happy to spend another day on this earth with family (although many of them already passed on), and friends and new challenges. Life is still a gift.

Happy New Years to all.
Frank Mentone

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