The New Year

S and Cancer Bitch, wearing tiara and sequin earrings

We went to B and S's house for new year's eve, as we've done for many years, and as I did for years before meeting L. I met B and S in 1985, and L ten years later. The guests vary a little from year to year, but there are stalwarts. Sometimes it is a sit-down dinner and sometimes it's not. Once it was a barbecue and they turned the heat up and wore Hawaiian shirts. Once their party was hosted by someone else who forgot to invite me and I was hurt and we had people over here and then went to downtown to the Buckingham Fountain for the countdown. That was the millenium and police were standing on street corners in riot gear, afraid of--thousand-year craziness? Oh, terrorists. But that was just before 2001 started. Fear of Y2K. Now we are all battered. B was in his wheechair, of course, and I looked around and thought: Last year I had cancer but didn't know it. Among the people here are two pairs of parents whose sons have died, and I wonder what suffering is in store for all of us; in what new ways will we be damaged next new year's eve? It's the mirror image of Walter Benjamin's angel of history, who looks into the past and sees one tragedy after the other.

We brought a lovely mostly organic salad (lettuces, red cabbage, red onion, hearts of palm and artichoke) and D, our visiting friend and house guest, made baked cheese grits, which were gobbled up. I also brought an experimental trifle. Ever since Thanksgiving I have wanted to replicate a trifile that my cousin S's wife made, but with mostly different ingredients. This, as you can imagine, is nearly impossible. It's a Paula Deen recipe of layered gingerbread, pumpkin puree, Cool Whip, pudding-from-mix and ginger snaps. I made it with gingerbread, yogurt, pumpkin and Bailey's caramel cream. S liked it but no one else. I threw it out and started again around 2am with just gingerbread, yogurt, honey and ginger. They say that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Another definition would be taking a known procedure, changing it, and expecting the original result. I think I'm disappointed that the recipeed trifle tasted so wonderful but was made from lowly, store-bought ingredients.

Since Thanksgiving I have been eating too much and drinking too much and it has to stop.