Happy New Year

New Year’s is such a strange holiday, a holiday about one second. A holiday about the impossible incrementalism of time. Still, my heart pounds at any kind of countdown.

We didn’t have a countdown this year. We went up on the roof in our matching N3-B parkas with the champagne around 11:55, thinking we’d watch the 2006 arrive in New York City in romantic solitude. But the Scandanavians on the fourth floor were also having a party. I recognized them immediately because I crashed that party last year. I remember a room full of people from countries of which I have only the vaguest awareness–Belgium, Finland and the like. I embarrassed myself by asking them if Belgian is harder to learn than English. There was also a French girl there who referred me to her (French) blog, which I attempted ot read for several days before admitting that I can’t really read French, especially the strange tense only used in writing.

Without television or radio, each individual party relies on its own official timepiece. Across the roof, we heard the Scandanavians counting down and whooping, but we were using my cellphone, which has no second counter, and it still read 11:59. We watched it silently, waiting for the moment to appear without fanfare, but some fireworks exploded and we looked up. When we looked back at the screen, it was already 2006 in the innacurate time zone of our own arbitrary adherence.

After we kissed, we wondered aloud, “How many people who’ve never kissed before are drunkenly making out right now? How many of them will be kissing next New Year’s Eve?”

A wise man once welcomed in a year not too long gone by shouting, “New year! New mistakes! New friends! New enemies!” and this is what I wish us all in this very new year called 2006.

Leave A Comment