Tonight marks the end of something.
We chose those words carefully. They’re the title of our favorite short story by Ernest Hemingway.
If you’ve never read it, “The End of Something” is penned in the sort of style that made the angry fisherman an iconic writer.
It’s simple. It’s clear. And it tells a hell of a story.
Nick Adams appears in many of Papa’s works. In this case, the young man is fishing and rowing a boat with his girlfriend, Marjorie.
They’re trolling the lake and looking toward shore at a town known as Horton Bay. It’s a lumber town.
Actually, we’re wrong. It was a lumber town.
Nick tells Marjorie he can remember the town when it was buzzing and chopping up trees at its peak pace. But as Nick yanks on the oars and shoves the boat ashore, he seems sad to admit the northern Michigan town is nearly empty.
The saws have stopped spinning, and the folks are left idling and out of work.
The tale has a familiar ring to it. Modern-day readers surely nod along as Nick delicately remembers the industry that’s come and gone.
Nobody knows where it all went… but everybody knows that it went.
It bothers Nick just as it bothers us.
But Hemingway’s not done.
The Long Walk Home
Shortly after pulling the boat ashore, Marjorie asks Nick what’s wrong.
“It’s not fun anymore,” he says.
The reader is left to ponder whether Nick’s talking about living in a rundown town in Michigan or whether the slow fishing has lost its joy.
But Marjorie knows exactly what he’s talking about.
It’s the end of something.
She grabs her things and walks home… alone.
Nick buries his face in the picnic blanket and feels the relief-filled pain of a breakup.
And with that, the clock has run out on 2018.
We can’t help but think of the year gone by in terms of a quick romance.
We were timid the first few months. We didn’t know how things would go.
The stock market wavered, and the country watched Washington with a close eye.
We weren’t sure what to make of the feelings inside us.
But then came summer. It was bliss. Good news and good times abound.
Stocks soared. And the media could hardly make up bad news.
Some said things were too good to be true. They said our fairy tale relationship couldn’t last.
Damn them… because then came fall.
Things went south. There were angry words… a lack of trust… and confusion.
“It’s just not fun anymore,” so many said.
Washington’s a mess these days. The economy’s confused. And folks are just plain tired of it all.
We’re glad to bury our head and see it go.
But Hemingway – that drunk – left so much unfinished.
Time to Celebrate
At the end of his tale, we’re left empty… wondering if Nick regrets his decision.
Was the “new” Marjorie any better than the old? Did he suffer alone for years? Or was the problem not Marjorie at all? Perhaps it was Nick who was no fun after all?
As we toast the old and welcome the new, we can’t help but wonder if tomorrow will be any different from today.
Are we ditching the lover we know… for the lover we don’t?
Time, of course, will tell.
And that’s exactly what we’re really celebrating tonight.
The lumber mills will come and go. The relationships will wax and wane. And some days the fish simply won’t bite.
But through it all, the clock keeps ticking.
If we think hard enough, that’s the moral of our little story. It’s not the man who buries his head in the sand and relives old memories who thrives.
It’s the man who gets up, brushes the sand off his pants and keeps moving forward who writes a tale with a happy ending.
None of us have much time.
It’s silly to celebrate the time that’s gone by. We shouldn’t toast what’s over.
We must raise a glass to what’s to come.
It could be good… it could be bad… but it’s something fresh.
It’s not the end of something we celebrate tonight… it’s the start of something new.
Happy new year.
P.S. We’re convinced that we’ll see the end of something big in 2019. In fact, we expect big news on March 20 that could eradicate America’s No. 1 asset… forever. All the details are in our latest presentation. Click here now.