“What New Year’s resolution are you going to fail at this year, boss?”
Fat’s head tips on a curious angle, a paper top hat perches on her head with the number 2015 splayed on the side in swirly, silver glitter. We’re well into New Years Day by now, and yet the chapeau persists. Part of me wonders if she hasn’t removed it just to make me crazy — when the countdown is over, the confetti is thrown and the kazoos have sounded, it’s time to take off the hat.
“I didn’t make any.” My eyes roll upward, to quickly consult my brain for any previous thoughts on the matter. “Nope. Nothing there.” iPhone shrieks from the hall table to let me know I’ve received a text message.
“You make it sound like breaking news; that brain of yours has been vacant of both memory and intelligence for years. C’mon, boss, think of something you can aspire to fail at this year.” Fat’s grey tail flicks playfully from side to side. “I have ideas if you fall short. For instance,” The feline clears her throat for what I assume will begin a tedious and insulting list. All too quickly this thought is proven correct. “Learn to act your age, purchase a new cat toy every week, fix that crooked English smile of yours, give up reading so you have more time to pursue more important things like making your cat happy, clean the skeletons out of your closet and get back to therapy, write a poem about me every day, spend effort in looking less like a hobo so maybe a man will want to be with you,” Fat pauses, making me think she’s finished, but that last idea has bridged itself to another thought. “Hmm, it’s not just the outside that’s the problem. Do you reckon you’re capable of a personality overhaul over the course of the year? Well, they do say a person’s reach should exceed their grasp. I’ll do what I can to help on that one, but you’ve been a work in progress since I met you. You might have to face the fact that you’re going to end up old and alone. Maybe your resolution can be about coming to terms with that harsh reality…”
I’ve stopped listening as Fat natters on about what she perceives to be my various personality and appearance defects. Checking my phone, the latest text is essentially the same as the last few I’ve received. Another ode to the New Year. The phone clicks rapidly as I text a reply, and respond to another two iMessages. I stand, holding my phone in midair, thinking about how positive everybody is at New Years. There has to be a way to harness this prolific outlook amongst the people; figuring that out could be my resolution. After all, I’m no stranger to the nickname Optimist Prime.
A few seconds pass and my attention transitions from the free-floating thoughts in my head back to the outpouring of words from my housecat. Fat’s monologue continues as her paw scratches her chin in thought. “…but then we’d have to find somebody that is competent in attaching brain electrodes and behavioural manipulation.” The feline’s green eyes refocus on me. “What if we just pick something for you that is vague enough to be achievable?”
I humour Fat with the illusion of caring. “What do you suggest, Fat?”
Triumph in the form of a sinister smile grows across her small face. Even her whiskers stand at attention for the good doctor’s decree. “Boss, your New Year’s resolution is to generally suck less at everything.”