As the Christmas lights fade and another year comes to an end, as the ornaments go back in the box and memories are put to rest, it is inevitable to acknowledge I am getting older and not only older but more distant from those whom I have loved most in my life. I am reminded that even the most intimate of relationships are only temporary and vaporize in the clutch of time. Sadistic solitude swells and stings the soul unbearably as tears pool in unblinked eyes. What it was is not what it is. What it is isn’t what it will be. The go around isn’t always merry though dare not express grievance for fear of being struck from existence. There is comfort in the community of the suffering. For in this, I am not alone. I miss all those who have had starring roles in the story of my life and I cherish those who are temporarily on center stage. They are blessings and continue to exist when so many others have fallen into the abyss. So much left undone, so many people unmet and still too few trips around the sun. Happiness continues to be elusive and its definition cloudy, near synonymous with selfishness and greed. Happiness is a mirage, a target which only moves when approached. Love is a silly game mother nature plays to get us to reproduce. Lament for the days of old when I was synonymous in spirit with another, when two was one and life was fun. That was yesterday, maybe tomorrow but not today. Today I spill blood into letters assembled on a page for an audience of no one in an effort to solicit sympathy perhaps reassurance that the coming year will be better than the one preceding. I raise a glass alone and sing auld lang syne as I cross the threshold of 2022. Happy New Year.