perpetual eve

This day is the same every year. The streets are dead and filled with slush, the stores all closed. No mat­ter where I am, it seems peo­ple are look­ing for a chan­nel on TV to watch a cor­po­rate-spon­sored count­down, and I always feel alone even though I’m sur­round­ed by friends.

If it’s the same every year, it’s strange that my mem­o­ries of New Year’s Eve are so mixed. Jocks harass­ing me on the bus. Bundling up in big coats to share petit coro­nas out­side. Panic attacks. Blonds and red­heads. Rich foods and too much drink. And some­how the peo­ple I love and the peo­ple I hate end up at the same parties.

Sometimes it reminds me too much of my child­hood. My fam­i­ly host­ed the same count­down par­ty every year that became the only real time we spent with oth­er peo­ple, and the only time we ever caught up with our “friends”. Numbers would be shout­ed in uni­son, cham­pagne would be toast­ed, noth­ing would change. An emp­ty rit­u­al for emp­ty peo­ple. Maybe that’s why I nev­er feel like I belong any­where on this day. It’s like I’m wait­ing to feel what every­one else around me is feel­ing when the ball drops.

6 comments

  1. I have nev­er quite felt right on New Years either. I don’t gen­er­al­ly like get­ting plotzed, and have large­ly been with peo­ple who did. Or else with oth­ers who were not too into it.
    “You’re not alone in being alone.….”

    • I think we’ve been going to the wrong parties…we should throw our own.

  2. (Not to be creepy; I use your Wu Wei theme in WordPress and so I check on you here fre­quent­ly as a result, but!) I do tru­ly under­stand what you’re say­ing. While I don’t think your dis­so­lu­tion will wane, peace and joy should not have to feel so far away. Surely both are loi­ter­ing close by, tai­lored just for you, wait­ing for a rainier day? Be real but kind to your own mind, Mr. Ngan. :)

    • You’re right…it’s fun­ny think of how close peace and joy can be. All it takes is the right chance or the right cir­cum­stance. It’s just hard to see some­times, on New Year’s espe­cial­ly, when it feels like I’m stuck repeat­ing the past.

  3. To go to these things or not go? I always go, and I always feel like I am wait­ing to belong. I feel espe­cial­ly awk­ward when every­body hugs every­body else.

    • I tend to go even though I usu­al­ly feel like stay­ing at home, and I’m always glad I did, even if I feel out of place. For me, the most awk­ward part of the night is when every­one kiss­es anoth­er per­son at the stroke of mid­night, but I just pre­tend to be occu­pied and hide behind my lens.

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