Right now, I am on a bus from Ankara to Istanbul, a bus with WiFi, hot tea and dark views of the snow.
Mrs. Tragos and I will spend the last day of 2010 wandering about Istanbul, then heading off to London and San Diego.
The past 363 days have been strange and almost oppressively various.
It’s almost hard to imagine that the same me, the same Tragos, can be counted present and awake for this uncanny succession of days.
I have sat on cold trains running from Ann Arbor, Michigan to Chicago watching the detritus of industry rust beside frozen lakes; worked three jobs at once; consumed cold tea in the midst of my temporary Evanston residence, surrounded by rubber reptile figurines; ambled through New Orleans with Billy Dalto, Mills, and Abby; said good-bye to friends of seven-years; closed up shop in Michigan; hiked through buggy clouds in Connecticut forests; dined with Norah Leah and M.; strolled through Manhattan and its bookstores with Peter Santiago; built and destroyed block-ziggurats with my 10-month-year-old nephew; biked through the Berkshires with my brother; explored restored villages from American history with Mrs. Tragos; cheered on Spain with Spanish friends in Michigan; paraglided past cliffs in San Diego; discovered something sad about my family I only partially didn’t suspect; watched the Padres with my Dad; taught ten English folk how to play American football in Tuscany; tracked my hero Dante through Florence; found something like peace in Siena; tried to adapt The Inferno for a modern audience here on Tumblr; gazed at medieval manuscripts at the Victoria Albert Museum in London; watched all of Friday Night LIghts; visited Samuel Johnson’s house on Fleet Street; loved being on Tumblr; moved to Ankara; swum over Lycian ruins off Kaş; hiked and ballooned with Mrs. Tragos past fairy chimneys in Kapadokya; taught Turks the ways of Homer and Plato; bought medicine in Toronto’s Chinatown; and consumed the same brand (Efes) of beer for three months straight. I made many mistakes too.
What gladdens and maddens me is that I’ve planned almost none of it, for better or worse. Normally, my years aren’t nearly so crazy, and I wonder why fate had such a wonderful (and sometimes horrible) way with me this 2010. I’ll never know. That wily dame, Dame Fortune.
So on this almost last day of 2010, I wish you all a 2011 of both superb and tranquil moments. Me? I’m hoping for the latter.
Yours in Earnest,