Actually, it sucked. But I couldn’t resist the Tori Amos reference.
Onward and upward, however. This year, for the very first time, I was alone during the countdown to the New Year. I was in a bar, separated from my friends for the moment, getting myself another (yet another) beer, and I’d lost track of the time. All of a sudden, one of the numb nutses in the band announced that it was nearly 2004, and started the counting thing. The lights in the bar were warm and low, that mellow golden color you only see in basement bars late at night when you’re really blotto, or else in furnishings and clothes from the 70s. The bartenders — all goth, in this place, although it’s not a goth nightclub — smiled through their mascara tears and stopped serving for a moment. We all counted down together and no one harassed me or gave me a dirty look or bumped into me or tried to get me to do anything. I’d ridden the T over from JP by myself, and later, when I was tired of being social, I’d go home early the same way, in a cab operated by a friendly Haitian cab driver who hated G.W. Bush almost as much as I do. “He don’t like poor people, man,” he’d say, taking a nervous slug of his Redbull. “Shit — he don’t like PEOPLE.”
If it’s true that you spend the rest of the year doing what you did the night the calendar flips, I should have an interesting, drunken, friendly, political, independent, conversational year.
My best to you all. Happy New Year! Happy New Year! Happy New Year!