Today is the first day of the Chinese New Year. For the Chinese, it is one of the many sacred traditions of one of the oldest cultures in the world. For everyone else, it’s a chance to celebrate New Year’s all over again, only this time with Scorpion Bowls, and get a do-over for the New Year’s resolutions they’ve already whiffed. But for me, who is neither Chinese nor everyone else, this Chinese New Year has a special significance. It’s the Year of the Rat.
For those of you who can’t be bothered to Google it, the Rat is the first animal in the Chinese Zodiac, a twelve-year cycle represented by twelve different animals. Your animal is determined by the year you were born, and I was born in the Year of the Rat, which means that this is my year! Despite the fact that I possess none of the characteristics that Rat Zodiac people apparently have, and that everyone who isn’t a tree-hugging vegan like your college roommate Angela sees rats as disease-carrying, crop-destroying vermin, and that zodiac predictions are about as reliable as Angela’s tarot card readings, which sounded so spiritual after a couple of bong hits, this is my year! It’s that kind of totally unfounded optimism that keeps me going.
Why? Because I’m a writer. My stories are my babies. And like anyone giving birth to a wailing lump of neediness, I nurture it in the hopes that it will pay off someday. So please, feel free to look around my domain. email me if you need me.