Writing about the first day of a year reminds me of the time during Slyuses, when I wrote a monologue about another calendar date the specificity of which unraveled in the telling.
This one I published at 2:01 am on November 12, and titled it in answer to the question in Ithaca “[w]hy was he doubly irritated?” Leopold Bloom and Stephen Daedalus have arrived at the Bloom home and Bloom remembers he reminded himself twice before to retrieve his house key from the back pocket of the trousers he wore the day before yesterday. Both men are keyless and Bloom must decide “[t]o enter or not to enter. To knock or not to knock” and wake Molly. It is 2:01 am. In the monologue I wrote, my speaker often wonders to verb or not to verb. Bloom decides to break in by jumping the outer dwarf wall, and in answer to “[d]id he fall? we get Joyce’s extended description of the date Bloom last weighed himself, itself weighted with date descriptions the likes of which one might use whilst calculating Easter.
I keep the formula for Easter on my desk; it stands proudly with the world’s most ridiculous mathematical formulas ever devised and ought to be admired as such. I personally don’t care what date Easter will occupy each year. Why would I? The when of any annual event is entirely meaningless, but I do love the mathematical yoga it takes to ensure Easter and Passover coincide. Or worse, God forbid, Easter should occur before Passover. This could not be allowed. So every year they do the math.
Just after Bloom enters the scullery he lights a match and then a candle, which he uses to light his walk through the house so he can let Stephen in by the front door. The image I used for the post comes from Yurko Gutsulyak’s Energy Calendar made entirely from matches. Regretfully, it is not an image of the match for November 12. When there is one day to write and no more, and all else in the world to do as well, compromises must be made.