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It’s two minutes to midnight on 2020’s last day.

I’m sipping a Surly, slouching on a couch somewhere south of comfortable and clean. Dawn’s five feet to my right, drifting in and out. Outside, rockets glare and cherry bombs blare. The rituals bring some measure of cold comfort, but I know this year is not ready to end.

We’re in a warm shotgun apartment in a cold Minnesota town. Both have seen better centuries. Both were built to survive. 

Yesterday, she asked me if I had a New Years’ resolution.

“I’m going to start taking my shirt off without turning it inside-out.
Like the male models do.”

I wasn’t exactly being serious. Even in the most upside-down of years, I could aim a little higher. Nevertheless, I’ve committed. I’m resolute. 

Most times, I do the laundry. I love the laundry. But each time I turned my inside-out things outside-out, I knew I was fixing problems I didn’t need to be making.

As long as I don’t catch my glasses or pull a strange muscle, taking my shirt off now looks and feels cooler than ever.  

Sometimes I forget and undress like a regular schlub, but I’ve stuck with this longer than most resolutions. Twelve shirts a week. Three seconds a turn.

If I live a century, I’ll give myself back an entire day. 

It’s a daily reminder that I set out to do a thing, and I’m doing my best.
I aimed low. And I crushed it.

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