Oh mama Traditionally, this time of year carries the shame of impossible resolutions blurted to strangers during unguarded moments in restroom stalls, where every promise is amplified. Regret is not a four-letter word, and six letters are certainly out of the question where one-ply is the only available medium, leaving verbal communication to do the grunt work. Barring the rapid deployment of anechoic washrooms, I expect this tradition to remain in full force until I resolve to keep my mouth shut, which I cannot do until December. Hence the regret.

As I indulge the new habituations of 2014, it will be with the reasonable expectation of privacy that comes from living in a glass house, which has little in common with the lead-lined bunker I envisioned in 1984. But times change, and the cup-and-string arrangement I relied on in those days has betrayed my agenda more times than the Russians can count, if indeed they even keep track of my movements anymore. Planned obsolescence has come and gone, propelled by the tailwinds of washroom transmissions at frequencies too low to be detected by modern surveillance equipment, too high to pass for swamp gas, and too farfetched to be taken seriously in the brave new light of January's dawn.

This, too, is progress.



  1. Love the deadpan tone of this piece!

  2. Thank you. Thank you very much. I was constipated when I wrote it.