January 02, 2007

IN LIKE A WHIMPER AND OUT LIKE A SIGH

I finally had the sober grownups NYE dinner I had been dreaming up since my younghood. Every bedroom I ever had as a child was above the dining room, and my mom was a great thrower of women-friends dinner parties; with my ear pressed to the floor I learned a lot about why it's best to stay single, much of which did not make sense til years later.

So, I bought candle holders last year and finally bought candles for the occasion (truly dripless, as the package advertised--where does the drips go, then? --became dinner convo several times) and cooked food-of-the-south, put out a table cloth. It was very official, even though I did not serve drinks in crystal stemware as planned, but instead, chipped mugs and the Burger King Missy Piggy Collectible Cup from Muppets Take Manhattan. I was thumbs down on stemware--$1/each is too much to pay for cups you will only use once a year.

I took a picture of the adult dinner but it was so dark all you could see was the thin candle flames, and not the good times. Certainly not Robin, who is halfway towards birth and just looks like preggo-magic, with her glow and her coat that won't button now. Nora made us go around the table and say what we want in 2007 for ourselves, what we might want to leave in 2006. Answers were mixed, but I really like that no one said "lose weight", and everyone gave honest answers -- "Healthy baby" was the top answer. Robin said you know you are getting old when being pregnant is no longer viewed as an "oh-shit" kind of problem.

Then, after deserts and coffee, Robin and Ian and Matt and I sat in the dark living room with no lights on, watching for downtown fireworks, with a window open for the wind. The plastic bags in the branches were loud, they sounded like sails. We recounted some previous NYE's lowlights, of bad parties, too stoned to move while some girl you don't know starts talking Chinese to you. (Most of mine are a special kind of bad, even though the last ones where I was drinking were the most benign (1994: drinking 40s and listening to the smoking popes with 2 straight-edgers I did not know in a basement, 1995: Long Beach house party--you have to go inside before midnight because everyone shoots guns off and you must beware of falling bullets), save for NYE where I spent the evening meditating and listening to Plastic Ono Band, alone, deeply fearful I had not stockpiled enough dog food for the Y2K nuclear winter.) As with all holidays this side of arbor day, neighbor kids set off $750,000 worth of legal Indiana fireworks, approx. $735,000 of it went for those hundred-boxes of Black Cats, which I think they built a full scale replica of the logcabin that was Lincoln's boyhood home out of then set alight the fuse. It banged thousands-strong from 11:53 until 12:11. Most fire crackles ever. I worried about old people and vets, sleeping people who lived through wars and might have PTSD and were freaking out, cowering under beds and in crawl spaces. The fireworks went up directly above and behind us, in our apartments blind spot, so all we could watch was how they illuminated the buildings opposite us, and make the tree-branch shadows rise and fall in their explosions.

Posted by Jessica at January 2, 2007 12:17 PM | TrackBack