Essay: The First Crisis of the New Year

Even though I had been dreading the moment all year, I fought to keep the abject terror out of my voice. "Yes, lunch on the fourth would be terrific," I burbled into the phone with false bonhomie. "I'll make a note of it right now."

But where to inscribe the first appointment of the New Year? Like a condemned man fantasizing about a reprieve from the Governor, I riffled through my woefully nondescript black vinyl 1988 Daily Planner praying that somehow it contained extra pages for the first week of January. Instead, with fear and trembling, I peered into the abyss:...

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