Near the end of a phenomenal Mountain Goats show. Amazing energy, the barn has been in flames all night, and even though I want to punch the drunk screamers just as much as usual, I’m still so glad I’m here. John launches into the song, people are pogoing around the floor, nodding their heads vigorously in indie fervor, and I’m smiling, smiling, smiling. Then John gets to the line: “I am gonna make it through this year if it kills me.”
Earlier today, someone was congratulating me for the Oregon Book Award nomination for Rules and some other things on the librarian side that I haven’t blogged about. I thanked her. She said: “This has been a great year for you!”
I smiled, or tried to. “Mostly,” I said.
Lots of good things have happened to me this year, and I’m both honored and grateful.
But whatever else 2008 has been and will be, it is, for me, the year my father died.
I know that based on his lyrics, John Darnielle’s feelings about his stepfather are just about the opposite of my feelings about my dad.
But tonight that line rang so true and so hard that the tears came. Again.
I am gonna make it through this year.
If it kills me.