In the corner of my room sit mangled resolutions. I said I would untangle them by the end of September, but I haven’t. In the last sixty seconds of December, I said the same thing. February is almost here. Their banality is excruciating, what’s worse is that they’ve become consequential—or inconsequential?— episodic hindrances. The irresolute resolutions will not be televised but if they were, it would be a slow burning mini-series consisting of six episodes that would strike fear in all of us who have the opportunity to make new year’s resolutions twice a year that they don’t keep. The horror.
A porcelain figurine stands at the precipice of Orly’s dresser. She makes a resolution to move it five steps back when she returns from a sweet dinner in September. She doesn’t do it because she prefers revelling in the danger of putting a life almost at risk and getting away with it. In November she almost knocks the figure over but catches her. Maybe Orly can conquer the world now. She places her back on the edge. In December the figure falls. Her head breaks off. Orly tells herself she’ll glue the body back on in a day or two, in a week, in the new year. The head is missing now. In September of 2022 she’ll make a resolution to find it.
Orly resolves to get new blinds. They only go down ¾ of the way. She wants to stop worrying that every time she runs into her neighbours they’re thinking about what she looks like naked. She changes in the corner of her room, so she is hopefully out of their sights. She stands right next to her mangled resolutions and trips. Her hand knocks over the porcelain figurine’s headless body that still stood at the corner of her dresser.
Orly resolves to always clean her dishes right away. Months later, she leaves a bowl of chocolate pudding on the coffee table and goes to sleep. She wakes up to find she is an ant killer. They found their way to the dessert and drowned. She vows to write this wrong by educating herself on the importance of house chores and by becoming an insect advocate. She signs up for the Masterclass teaching a course on this very problem, it begins in 2023.
Orly worries she spends too much time stalking her crush on the internet. She resolves to stop after the holidays. She doesn’t and likes his post from April 2014.
Orly tries to learn how to play an instrument for the fifth year in a row. She wants to be a renaissance woman, but is completely shit at music. This past September, in a flashback, we witness her trying to play the flute. She was breathing into the little hole so intensely she turned blue in the face and fainted. She goes to a music shop and must decide what instrument is worth the one hour of time she will spend with it: the oboe or the clarinet?
Orly can’t figure out if she is hot for Larry David or the assurance he gives her that irresolute resolutions may in fact be resolutions of what happens when you don’t follow through on even the most menial tasks. She watches Curb Your Enthusiasm again and resolves to think more on the subject; it might be interesting to write about, perhaps that is how she will finally unmangle her resolutions.
Header image design by Orly Zebak. Still life paintings courtesy of Rijksmuseum, Europeana.
Orly Zebak writes, designs sets and costumes, and makes art in various mediums. Her work seeks to challenge conceptions of female performativity in relation to womanhood, girlhood, and coming of age stories. In her spare time, you can catch Orly gardening—usually in her very comfortable off-brand crocs.
Orly earned her M.A. at the University of Toronto in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies.