Monday, January 03, 2005

Update on the Po' Man's Mocha

1. Clean Snowman-shaped mug from last mocha.
2. Fill mug with "interesting" workplace coffee.
3. Add gas station powdered hot chocolate mix.
4. Stir with candy cane.
Yields one (1) po' man's peppermint mocha.

In other news, it's the New Year; a time to "wipe the slate clean." People make resolutions as if entering the New Year is like walking into the classroom of life on a Monday morning after the janitors have washed the blackboards with soapy water. Throughout the week teacher marks up and erases the blackboard, but no matter how many times erasers clap against it or each other, a chalky residue lingers stubbornly behind. No, the chalkboard is never as clean as it is on Monday morning.

Today is the first Monday morning of the New Year and I've already miffed my "resolution" to get to work earlier. I've already chalked-up my board. However, I didn't enter the New Year feeling all sparkly and polished-patent-leather new, so it doesn't seem like it really matters. And does it? Does it really? Do our lives truly depend on one day a year to cleanse our misdeeds and clear our slates? Think if classroom blackboards only got washed at the beginning of the new term. By the end of term the teacher might have better luck illustrating his/her point by tracing through the chalky residue with his/her finger instead of adding to it with more chalk.

No, I think there's a reason why janitors wipe the blackboard once a week as opposed to once a year. And I think that we don't need a New Year to wipe our slates clean. As a matter of fact, I don't believe a New Year can really wipe our slates clean. After all, are we not a sum of our days? Do we not all have some sort of chalky residue somewhere, perhaps in the running board or around the edges where one might forget to clean? Behind one's ears? Is there a shelf too high or a gutter too low to reach on a regular basis?

So, this is the New Year and I don't feel any different.* Well, at least not any more different from the daily, weekly, monthly, moment-by-moment cleansing process to which I've already set my paces. I don't have to wait for one day a year to atone from my wrongs and turn a new leaf. It could happen any day, any moment and yet I'll still be the same. And yet I'll be different. A sham and a hypocrite and a truly genuine person all at once. A paradox for which I am glad.

*lyric by Death Cab for Cutie