As you all know by now New Year’s Eve is my favourite kind of holiday. I love the concept, I love how glamorous its painted to be (though is it ever?), I love the so many people come together for one moment of just pure hope and anticipation – it’s hilarious and intoxicating and my favourite. I have written the last five New Year’s Eve’s. All of them so different and all of them memorable for reasons that were so representative of the years that they separated. All of them important to me.
I was young and long legged and innocent. The last person up in the stillest of neighbourhoods. Outside was velvety black and eerily quiet but I was okay. I still knew how to fall in love with worlds created in my own mind. It was the end of the last year we let our imaginations run rampant and stupid and didn’t care about anything but the way rainbows reflected our mood and how much the things we liked made us laugh. 12am rang in with a flurry of Facebook status’s and text messages. For one of the last times, everybody childish and warm and connected.
We took fluoro green shots that my stepdad picked up from the bottle store. Our tongues tingled from the cheap sugar liquor and laughter rumbled deep in our stomachs as we lay on the floor and chatted about everything in our lives. The light was soft mellow yellow reflecting on the walls and I was so warm. It was the end of the worst year but I was so hopeful. I knew that this new year would make everything fresh again. I had been waiting for months for the midnight when everything that had been dragging me down would disappear. 12am came. I lay on the rough carpet and cried happy, ugly tears. I was free. I woke up light.
Fireworks mixed with the milky way in the camp in the middle of nowhere. I was with three beautiful girls and we danced in the blackness, tasting of cider and orange chocolate. Older people sung together drunkenly with a twanging guitar the silence of the air was filled with raucous laughter and words that were always almost bursting into song. We had a bonfire that was wide and tall and wild. We burnt our worst memories and traits, let the smoke cloud of our fears rise upwards and disappear into the blackness. People were crying but they weren’t sad. We were a pile of bodies clumped for warmth, crowded conversations and messy damp eyed, open mouth teenage introductions. On the edge of being grown up we stood. The very beginning.
The night was drizzly and warm and we were an eclectic group of electric kids. The night aged slowly in cheerful conversation and the consumption of too much cheap beer. We walked for so long, through dark unfamiliar streets with a destination we only thought existed. The countdown to the new year trapped us, lost away from the crowd on a boardwalk in the dark by the boats. We stared at the sky through the rain drops resting on our eyelashes and huddled for warmth. 12am that year was a brilliant flash of fireworks, dizzy conversation and a sweet, tentative warmth growing between us from a moment shared. That night we all slept early and damp and laughing and in love.
We were angry and passionate and cute and free. Walked to town with a gold tiara and broken suitcase, twisting ankles and screaming songs at the sky. We were invincible and we only needed each other. Eating the leftovers that people less good at left behind, drinking home-made cocktails and vodka mixers and dancing with straight arms and sparkly smiles. 12am was missed by an entire city, the fireworks were small but we had a stolen road cone and the closing of the clubs and a 5am sunrise; watching the new year melt soft over the city. We made it somehow.
Only three more days until Christmas and eight until another chapter is added to my New Year’s Eve stories!
I hope you are all doing ok. I am doing ok. I like my job a lot, Katherine and I went to the beach yesterday with $2 ice creams and all the heat of the sun. Things are not turbulent – treading the water instead of drowning in it. And it is Christmas and I have a roof over my head, a secure country and so many ridiculous and beautiful humans who love me in spite of everything. That’s more than enough.
Love you petals xx