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I start the column and I date it "2018," here in the small spare bedroom of a second-floor apartment in a 125-year-old house.
There's a snowstorm trembling in the air tonight. It hasn't started yet, and isn't supposed to start until about 4 a.m. It's 8 p.m. now, but you can taste the snow in the air. You smell rain coming, but you taste snow, like an ice-cold knife blade on your tongue.
For the weary columnist, the first column of the year is a terrible temptation. It would be so easy to write a list of humorous New Year's resolutions for politicians, or to cast back over the disasters of the last year.
"You didn't smell Trump's victory coming," I could write. "You tasted it coming, like the cold body of a dead orange hamster on your tongue."
Or, "The Democrats should resolve to become a political party."
A story, then.