Some years, I’m sure you’re aware, just plod along. The farmer tills his soil, the workers watch the clock until 8 PM, when they’re allowed to leave the office and go to their second job, the lonely drunk cuts another finger on another shard of glass. But other years explode in a shower of joy. Such was my year this year, and what a year it was. You all know, by now, that this year was the year I published a book and went on an epic nine-month tour that took me to 70 cities on five continents. But you may not know that I also got married, turned 30, quit my job, and bought a spacious house in the most glamorous city in North America.

I realize, as do you all, that after January 20, when the son of Satan assumes office, my fairly-won pleasures will be stripped from me one at a time, but I still have three weeks to enjoy them. And I must say that without you, such delectable sweetmeats wouldn’t have been possible. May I have this space today to thank all the people who made up this year? May I usurp this website for nothing more than self-indulgent liner notes? Please allow me. I have had a big year, and I want to celebrate.

First, let me run down a few people who have been essential throughout the process, before I begin going city by city, in my plodding, dutiful, predictable way. My wife Regina, and my parents, Susan and Bernie Pollack, must top any list. Following them closely would be that salty old draught horse Todd Pruzan, and John Kellogg Hodgman, detective, my friend and former agent. I would also like to thank, high up, Diane Vadino, Sarah K. Min, and the McSweeney’s interns, Matt Fogel, Ted Thompson, Lawrence Lowe, Ben White, and Tanner Colby, who made many phone calls on my behalf when my line had been shut off from overuse. My webmaster and yours, Kevin Shay, brought us all so much this year, and props to him as well, and let us not forget Windsor Beaver, who made the book look beautiful, and Shlyo Bisnett, who did so much and asked for so little. In addition, many authors, some more famous than others, you know who you are, gave me encouragement and advice, both romantic and non-,and Jonathan Menjivar, who, among all people, knows the truth. My friends! We are young and have ideas! The world will destroy us all!

Now, the boring blow-by-blow:

DENVER: Lauren and Bill, and Bagby. Let us not forget Uncle Rick.

BOSTON: Jim Behrle and the staff of Brookline Booksmith, along with everyone at the Coolidge Corner Moviehouse. Julie Madden. Gregg Tolliver and Aida Calvillo, for their bed. Jodi Sherman Jahic, for dinner. Brian McCarthy from Wordsworth, and that guy, I don’t remember his name now, from Billionaires for Bush and Gore. Also, Chris Wright, for missing his soccer game, and the Lawrence Krauser trio.

NEW YORK CITY: The owners and staff of Galapagos. Catherine Bohne, from the Community Bookstore. Tim Brew, for the upstairs room. The guy who runs the Coney Island carousel. Everyone who came to Coney and Ellis Island, especially Debbie, for enduring, and Mayor Giuliani, for making New York the paradise that it is today.

PHILADELPHIA: Jen Rehill, for everything. Lauren, for the poster. Patrick, Mary, and Daniel from Big Jar. The Amtrak police, for not understanding. Julie and Josh, for the party and the little bed. She-Haw and Colorbrite.

WASHINGTON, D.C.: Ashley Gauthier, my attorney and trusted friend. Jason Zengerle and Keleigh Sherrod, for keeping up with my beer intake. The nice people at Politics and Prose.

ATLANTA: Melissa Bigner. Dave, Deborah and the dogs. Melissa Springer. The great Esther Levine.

DURHAM: Paul and Monique. Ristin Cooks. The Regulator, who got it wrong.

CHICAGO: An endless list, from my former hometown, which will be only partly delivered here. Ms. Joy and Mr. Seth. Greg Gillam. Hannah and Shappy from Quimby’s. T-Bone. Gregorio Gomez. Thax Douglas. Bill Savage. Nora Bucher. Jack Peasley. Paula Kamen. Pat Arden. Matt Herlihy. Satya and Vy. Mark and Mary Jane. Jackie and Anthony. Liam and Anne. Joe and Carrie. Jim and Paula. Why were all our friends married? Also, the staff of the Baffler, not a couple, for showing up, and the guys from Schadenfreude.

MADISON: Well, John Malicisi, from the University Bookstore.

MINNEAPOLIS: Tricia Durst. Tom Lynch. Beth, for playing Emmylou. Dennis Cass, for a relatively late night out.

ANN ARBOR: Dawn, who came to meet us at the deli. Tracy, Andrew, and little baby Satchel.

TORONTO: Amy Cormier, for a lot of stuff. The guys at This Ain’t the Rosedale Library. Have you stopped reading yet? The staff at the Horseshoe, especially the door guy, who gave me 50 bucks. Everyone else in Toronto. Really. I love you all.

SAN FRANCISCO: Christopher and Amana, for a bumpin’ wedding. Evan Handler, my rabbi in a Jets uniform. Arny Nadler, for buying a book. Barb and Matt and the rest of All Wrecked Up. Stacey Lewis from City Lights. My dear old friend Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Everyone who came to Berkeley. Shira Levine. And the amazing Marny.

PORTLAND: Kevin and Liz from the bookstore. Lauren, again. That’s about it for Portland.

SEATTLE: Michael and Catherine. Julian, for the Superman costume. Kim Ricketts, from the University Bookstore, and the good people of CafŽ Solstice. Jimi Hendrix. Dawn Martin, for bringing the love. The patient people at Elliot Bay.

LOS ANGELES: Margot and Lloyd. Commie Girl. Schmalie. Shlyo, again. Anastasia Sagorsky and Guy Bertwhistle. Laura Matter Fukushima and Glenn Fukushima. King Kukulele. We Are Scientists, with Christopher Penn. Sarah and Andrew Case, and Jenny Hontz, for the excellent view and the soothing tea.

LAS VEGAS: Ellis Landau and Gwen, for the set-up. David Figler and Greg from City Search. Howard, and John, for attending.

PHOENIX: Mom, for the classroom. Amy Silverman and Ray Stern, for the party. David Goodman, for bringing the rock. Izzy, oh Izzy. All my former friends and teachers who appeared and then vanished into the wind. Southwest Airlines, for getting me the hell out of there.

AUSTIN: Denise Daley, for the town. Tina Bustamante for the house and the crazy dog. Dara at Book People. George W. Bush, for the inspiration.

AMSTERDAM: Yes, I went to Amsterdam, but I didn’t want to tell you because I afraid you’d think I was putting on airs. Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah! I went to Amsterdam and you did not! Nanny nanny poo poo! Thanks to Oscar, for buying the ticket.

FLORIDA: Michael Welch. Gina from the Times. Brent and Samantha Puckett, also from the Times. That dude who made me drink the Red Bull and drove me around the parking lot without the muffler. God. That was a nightmare.

NASHVILLE: Angela from Halycon. Chris Davis, for the disgusting dessert. Everyone who survived the show at Springwater. Laura Matter Fukushima, again. Mary Allen, my mother-in-law, for laughing anyway.

Finally, I would like to thank everyone who has read and purchased my book this year, whether you liked it or not. Also, many journalists wrote about me when there were so many other more important stories in the world, and I am grateful to them without mentioning most of them by name, because that would seem nepotistic, and we are not about nepotism.

People, your faith in our little publishing project has broken down the walls, if only a tiny bit. I have lived the great dream of my life, and it is all because of you. Thank you, so much.

And now, I die.

Philadelphia, PA
December, 2000