I design each next year to be filled with Titanic Dreams.
I outfit them with all the fanciful luxury, trim, and elegance that any future vessel could possibly have and be ready to launch off in to the vast Ocean of the New Year. With the most grandiose hopes imaginable, and with the compass always set for the Port of Grand Accomplishments, the course is always charted to sail at speed with a level line across the water glass of fine dining on the very best of me and my abilities, while a happy wave curls a smiling lip of water off the prow of all that an eye could set course to find in living the good life.
But somewhere after the Champaigne bubbles have popped away--that's about April first, Fools' Day--an unplanned scrape rips open the seam on the sides of those goals, just below the water line, in the darkness of some unforeseen reality. Paradise and classical music still will play confidently in the mind, though, as the first bulkhead begins to be breached. And, after anxious contemplations, the young year's sky will burst with an occasional precautionary rocket shot calmly off to friends anchored within sight, but they think it only entertainment, not a nervous plea for assistance saying, "I'm not so sure about things right now."
The year's personal, first class cabin of attainability begins to swamp, as the lower compartments fill and each defensive bulkhead drowns. The proud nose of the bow begins to droop down, like some huge invisible hand is holding the back of its head and keeps pushing the ambitious new year down, down, down...
The months click off, and cold but disbelieving befuddlement persists, asking, "What the heck?" Futile eyes stare at sinking plans and scan for a flotation device, not considering, not yet, to lower a life boat and accept it is time to row away. Rather, still thinking of that first day's sailing, staring ahead into the morning mist and imagining all is coming into being, to be realized soon. And hope, though false, is hope, and remains.
Another rocket fires, again to be ignored as amusement, even by those queuing up to abandon ship, thinking it's only a drill even though walking the deck is now a hill to climb. Surely the all clear whistle will blow at any moment.
Alas, then, and frozen in accepting futility with a chilly, wet-weather kiss on the cheek, the whites of the eyes flicker a good bit larger for a moment, then narrow as the last groans of the fight escape deafeningly into the expanse of an empty sky. The invincible ship, with all its cargo of hopes, dreams, and aspirations, lifts its aft high into the air and follows its nose, diving at fifty-five miles an hour straight down into the dark depths of the deepest unattainable obscurity.
Each year, I start with this same genuine, stupid Ground Hog Day plan of attaining the highest. And I plan to again, even with all the historical arguments that might be presented to forfeit the game of life in advance, considering the competition.
Knowing me, though, I imagine that even at the morgue, I'll be thinking: what the heck would be a good thing to do tomorrow?