Happy New Year

The streets are dark and filled with people as though it were three in the afternoon, only now they were stumbling and swearing and taking public swigs from a 40.   “Fuck you, bitch!” a girl shrieks, laughing with friends as she negotiates a modest pile of dirty snow, her hoop earrings banging like pendulums against her neck.

Everything is glazed with melting snow; yellow lights reflect off of wet pavement.  The night has been a kindly forty-something-degrees and I don’t need a hat and I don’t need gloves and I feel half human, exposed to the world with lesser layers.  You forget you have a body under all of your everything after awhile.

There is a palpable energy in the streets: the collective enthusiasm for the concept of newness and change and starting over.  Strange how we all revel in the Prospect of Better.  A better car, a better house, a better lover, a better year.  Onward and upward.  We are a stock expected to increase in value indefinitely.  And to celebrate this we drink and do drugs and dance until our limbs are sore.

My shoes are wet and my tights have begun to tear and I waddle through patches of ice with no one to hold onto.  I walk with the concentration of an uncertain child, my arms flailing out for balance and my feet flat-footed, bracing for the worst.  There are no cabs and I am walking over a mile from bar to bar, alone, in Brooklyn, at three thirty in the morning.

 

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