This isn’t actually a post from Melbourne. I’m writing it from a sparse and ambiently-lit hotel room in Christchurch. So that little ‘Melbourne, Australia’ tagline is a lie.
But that’s 2009 for you.
Fuck you. And fuck the horse you rode in on.
There’s less than a month to go until you’re gone, 2009, and let me tell you, I’m really looking forward to your inevitable demise.
Maybe you think I’m being unkind. Maybe you think I’m being unfair. Maybe you think I’m letting my emotions get the better of me. Well, frankly, I don’t care what you think any more. Not. One. Bit.
I had such high, high hopes for us, 2009. You kicked off at 12:00:01 on January 1 (2009) and things were already looking up. I had a new job, a new country, new friends – I had just about a new everything. Finally, I thought. Finally, everything’s gonna work out for ol’ Simon. 2009, you’re the year for me! You’ll treat me right, I’ll treat you right – I think at long last, I’ve found a year I can trust. Together, we’ll grow. Together, we’ll laugh. Sure, we’ll argue from time to time, but it will only be over silly misunderstandings, and once we’ve got it all sorted out, we’ll laugh again. We’ll go for long walks in the country, we’ll stay up late at hip and arty downtown coffee houses, we’ll watch The Sopranos together and have conversations that ripple between seriously discussing the very human monsters that dwell within us all and laughing over the quote ‘Cunnilingus and psychiatry brought us to this!’
We were going to do so much laughing, 2009. Oh, and don’t get me started on the sex! When we first met, you were wild, and mysterious, and promisingly flexible, and I thought that maybe – just maybe – you were the year that had it all.
During your tenure the Global Financial Crisis went from push to shove to hit-you-over-the-head-with-a-shovel. Sarah Palin became a best-selling author.Transformers 2 came out.
At this juncture, 2009, I’d like to teach you a saying. A saying that has become near and dear to my heart, that has become a mantra – a creed, if you will – that I hope and pray I am man enough to live by.
There’s no need to be a dick about it.
Never quite got the hang of that one, did you, guy?
Look, I know, I’m not perfect. Believe it or not, there have been times when I, too, have been a dick about things. I can’t say I’ve handled everything that’s happened throughout the last 339 days as well as I could have. All I can say is, I always did my very, very best to make sure people understand how attractive I am.
But you, 2009. You made promises, and then you broke them. Sure, you delivered a little. At first. You tantalised, and you teased. And then you snatched it all away and then some. In a way that felt kind of like you telling me you were going to give me a million dollars, giving me the first hundred, and then eating my pet cat¹.
And as I stood, shocked and slack-jawed in the well-appointed kitchen of my imagination, watching you pick your teeth, I summoned the courage to ask: where’s my million dollars?
You mumbled something vague about the cheque being in the mail, then said you felt we needed to take some space. On your way past me, you asked ‘We cool?’ and put up your hand for a high five.
I’m not quite sure when the high five of hope left my heart, 2009. But somewhere in there, it did. I think it was the morning I woke to find you drunk and naked, face down on my couch, moaning about Jagermeister and leaving my car in a bad neighbourhood.
Subsequently I found you had relieved yourself in my dishwasher.
Which isn’t to say you were a total write-off. There were some real high points in there (Hey. TNB. Consider this a shout-out). Even the low points have helped me face things that are probably better off faced.
But really, you probably could have come through with some more on the win front, 2009. And I’m also kinda sick of growing as a person through hardships and confrontational experiences. If personal growth has to be on the menu, then, for the love of God, just make Deepak Chopra fall out of the sky and land on my house.
I feel owed. More so than usual, I mean. Yes, I’ll admit, I suffocated you a little. Yes, I could have made fewer loud references to how much I enjoyed 2003. Yes, I tried to shank you one time.
But that, and you, will all soon be in the past.
So here’s the deal. In 2010, I will happily bear my share of the load. I will face my fears, exorcise my demons, and return my friend Dean’s DVDs. I will happily humble myself at the feet of the people I have treated badly and beg for their forgiveness (OK, I don’t mean I’ll be happy as I do it, because then they might mistake the smile on my face for insincerity, and they’d get upset, and it would turn into a whole thing, and it would probably be a bad scene).
What I ask for in return – your end of the deal – will be simple. All I ask for is millions and millions of dollars. And I’ll handle the rest.
¹ Oh, right, that’s not just a metaphor. You killed my pet cat, 2009.²
² You know who else eats pet cats, and is much better than you? The Alien Life Form from Planet Melmac. That’s right, 2009. I preferred goddamn ALF to you in your entirety.