Gone” is one of those words that, after only a little bit of mastication, starts to look and sound weird. All words will, eventually, but “gone” does so particularly quickly.

It’s a strange exercise, isn’t it? To meditate on words until they lose their meaning.

2016 is gone. As much as it is gone, I suppose it is arriving somewhere else, too. Without committing to any belief of an afterlife that resembles anything like this one, I still hold to the idea that anything that leaves is arriving somewhere else.

A new year is an excuse for a lot of people to do the last of their bad things, before scurrying to set themselves straight by the 1st, or maybe the 2nd since the 1st is always a sort of hangover/recovery period. The 1st is allowance. The 2nd, though…

And that’s how it works. Gym memberships soar through the roof at the start of each new year. I’m guessing alcohol and cigarette sales might take a dip. Porn traffic, too, maybe. But by March things are back to normal.

Still, knowing that doesn’t stop us from setting our own new years resolutions. Why should it? After all, you can be an optimistic fatalist; you don’t need to be helpless. Which sort of throws the whole idea of fatalism into a shaky place in my eyes, but I guess that’s beside the point. Mastication, and all that. All things are rendered confusing upon closer inspection.

So cheers to the new year. Cheers to clarity and absolute knowledge, clear distinctions between right and wrong, resolutions and resolve.


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