Tag Archives: New Year’s

Unhappy Old Years

12:00am, 1 January 2014

“Well…bye guys,” said 2013 as she waved her nonliteral appendage weakly. “It was fun while it lasted.” But she knew that no one was listening. They were all too busy cheering and kissing and clinking their glasses and singing some vague semblance of “Auld Lange Syne.” 2013 thought about the way they used to sing that song for her. Or at least, that one time they sang it for her, anyway. But now she was that old acquaintance, forgotten just as swiftly as she came.

The party would roar on into the wee hours of the morning, but 2013 skipped out early without so much as saying her goodbyes. Everyone looked like they were having so much fun, and 2013 didn’t want to disturb them. Everyone was happy with 2014, this cool new year that had replaced her in their lives, just like she had done with 2012. As she walked down the street towards the Island of Old Years Past, she wondered if all the years went through this same feeling of dejection, or replacement, of ennui and emptiness. Even though she knew that it was nothing personal, she still wondered if 2012 had held his grunge, if he would scorn her when she arrived.

2013 stopped and looked back at the triple decker home where the party raged on. “I thought the ending would be bigger,” she said with a whimper. “That I’d go out with a bang, some explosive last hurrah, just like how it started. You were all making Top 10 lists and looking back with such fond memories and recounting all our times together, I guess I thought…I really thought it meant something.” She picked up a metaphorical stone from the sidewalk and threw it at the window of the house, sending it shattering into allegorical shards. “I hope that you look back fondly on our time together. And if you ever need me again, you know where to find me,” she said. And with that, she kept on walking forward out of time to her own entropic heatdeath.

Then she heard a familiar voice say, “Well see? It’s not so bad, huh?” She looked up and saw 2012 standing before her, holding two glasses of champagne. He extended one towards her and said, “No hard feelings, kid. C’mon. Everybody’s waiting. And when you’re here out of time, the party never stops.” She would have smiled, if years could do such a thing. So instead she took a sip and joined the rest of the past forever.

Haiku For A New Year

To 2013:
I thought this was the future,
so where’s my jet pack?

Stranger In a Strange Year, or, All-American Spirits

She said it was something about the cigarettes. “There’s a lot you can tell about a person, they smoke American Spirits,” she told me as I pulled the pack out from my jacket and offered her a stick. “I’m Kara.” I was only wearing a light zip-up hoodie, despite the fact that it was December 31. The evening was unnaturally warm, which I took as a good sign for the new year still to come.

We talked and shared a smoke as we admired the swiftly melting ice sculptures that adorned the Boston Common. Turned out we shared the same affection for Flemish sculptors. She told me that she’d moved here a just few months ago and didn’t know many people. Her friends had ditched their plans for the evening, leaving her with no one kiss, and even less to drink, so I invited to a friend’s party out in Davis Square. Looking back, I think she may have invited herself, but I was in no position that night to turn down some company.

There was a loud explosion from the east, and we turned our attention towards the skyscrapers of the Financial District, heads tilted upwards towards the sky. It was barely even 7 o’clock, and the city’s firework spectacle had already started, ringing in the Irish New Year with booming Chinese lights.

We stood and watched the fireworks together and shared another cigarette. She thanked me with a sly, crooked smile, a curve that cut up the left side of her soft cherub face. She was coy about her age, and whether she was 16 or 36, I could have believed it. Butts burned out and stomped to the ground, we finished our loop around the Common and hopped the Red Line train at Park Street.

On the ride over, I started asking her questions about herself, tried to get to know her some. She claimed that she had grown up abroad, around, but wouldn’t tell me where. Her mystery was irresistibly alluring, and we shared a kiss on the Longfellow Bridge as the train crossed over the Charles River, the brilliant lights of an excitable city celebration glowing across the horizon behind us. I’d have sworn I saw more fireworks but my eyes were closed (it’s not polite to peek or stare).

Shortly after we arrived at the party, she started dropping hints that she wanted to leave, go somewhere else, preferably with me. That’s when I told her I’d been living with my parents on the South Shore after my girlfriend and I broke up, so I was actually staying with a friend that night. It didn’t seem to bother her, but she wouldn’t bring me back to her place either. She was giving me mixed signals all night — no physical contact, but she kept saying she wanted to leave with me, and so on. But still, I couldn’t tell where we stood, and I didn’t want to ditch my friends, so we ended up staying at the party until around 2am, although we kept to ourselves for most of the night.

Eventually we hopped a cab and got a hotel room out near Alewife which she talked me into paying for. We were both pretty drunk so I don’t remember the sex very well, but I know it happened, because afterward she told me to pay up. Eighty bucks an hour for the company, plus another hundred for the sex. Apparently prostitutes in this state don’t take American Express.

The Travel Hangover

‘Once
You’re toast
You can’t
Go back to bread
Once

You’re checked out
You can’t go back to bed’

I was in
An Inn in Louisiana,
Once,