Quick as a camera flash

This morning I went out to get coffee beans, and partway there I saw a truck covered in snow gunning through the streets of Tucson as if that wasn’t a sight worth pausing for. On New Year’s Eve, I saw a person walking down the darkened street dressed up in winter clothes, including a fuzzy hat, brushing their teeth.

The halls of the world are open for business.

Did you all have a good holiday? Ours was great, except the parts that weren’t, but I think I’ll just let those slide away. I re-learned how to skip stones, which I hadn’t known that I’d forgotten how to do. I saw my nephew puke a bushel of apples onto his lap—truly the least disgusting puke I’ve ever encountered, except the time I drank and then barfed up a Frappucino after surgery, which was, when coming up, still cold. I went snow shoeing, and though we didn’t get very far (we were swiftly waylaid by my niece’s desire to go sledding instead), I walked alone into a grove of trees and saw a shelf of snow slide silently to the ground and heard the silence settling all around me, and then I sledded down a big hill. I played with my newest, one-year-old niece, who shrieks like a dolphin when she’s happy.

When we came home to Tucson, it was colder than it had been in Seattle. It’s still cold, obviously, given the car covered in snow. It rained hard as we went to bed on New Year’s Eve, and I turned off the light at exactly midnight, and now nothing is getting dry the way it normally does. The heater is running. Baths are a constant.

The last book I read in 2018 was a short gem by Yuri Herrera called Signs Preceding the End of the World, and I recommend it for anyone interested in the border, both literally and metaphorically. Just before that, I read Severance by Ling Ma, which I loved especially for the moment when the doomed cab driver says (I’m paraphrasing here), “All the white people finally left New York, and they think I’m gonna give it up now?” Partially I loved this because I realized no one would ever say it to me.

Now I’m reading Nicole Chung’s memoir about her adoption,  All You Can Ever Know, which I’ve been meaning to read for a while. First I waited to buy it when I knew she’d be around to sign it, then I waited to read it until it felt like the right moment, which is of course a more nebulous thing. But having just seen my family, having been stretched thin, like well-kneaded dough, by all the directions that life pulls me in: well, it felt like the right time, at last. It’s a beautiful book, intimate and tender, lucidly written. I’m barely halfway through, but it has already made me cry, always at surprising moments, quiet places that weren’t necessarily built to jerk tears.

Happy new year, friends. It’s already here.