Wednesday, December 31, 2003

New Year’s Eve. Hogmanay. This is the time of year where young gentleman place traffic cones upon their heads at jaunty playful angles. Tonight young ladies bedeck themselves in tube tops, mini skirts, and high heeled boots despite the freezing gales and frozen sidewalks. Tourists will follow the mobs looking like multi-coloured snowman in their enormous nylon parkas. My tendency for self harm has will lead me to walk downtown to the main street where the festivities are concentrated. The truth is there is an exquisite beauty in this night. All cities have an ugliness about them that I find charming and attractive. The same reason my kitchen table top has never been exposed to sunlight. Buried underneath clothes, books, jam jars, papers, and mugs, my table top exists. Disorder is comfortable to me. A nesting instinct. Rather than down feathers and shiny found baubles I populate my living space with the clutter of living itself. Cities have the same ascetic about them. Plastic bags pirouette above intersections. The steaming stream of urine emanating from man or dog shines golden in the low winter sun. Tonight, the wind is stronger than usual. The street is littered with the mangled corpses of umbrellas. Their limbs and canvas are torn and broken. The death of a thousand mechanical spiders to celebrate the New Year. This is the nest of half a million people. Tonight in the span of two hours, I will sip from my flask, wait for the fireworks, and collect snippets from a handful of my nest mate’s lives. The alcohol will magnify and intensify each tale. There is a man comforting two crying women. The comforting of one crying woman tonight would only be remarkable in its absence. Groups of young boys gulp from cider bottles. They will pose and posture for each other. Large groups of friends will gather to sing and hug, none noticing (or chooses to notice) each person positioning themselves closer to the particular friend they would most want to share the midnight kiss with. Tomorrow the streets will be silent. The New Year is left alone to consider the consequences of choosing to arrive. The people will make its acquaintance more soberly in a day or two when we all return from holidays.

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