You know what I do for New Year’s Eve, if I possibly can?
Stay home and fuck around on the computer, and maybe have a couple adult beverages while doing so.
My antipathy for all the folderol and emotional investment that is collectively imbued in the act of needing to hang up a new calendar and pay attention when you write down the date is longstanding.
As a kid, I had this notion (not quite strong enough to qualify as a premonition, and unlike the instances of dreaming deja vu that have subsequently come to pass, obviously less accurate) that I would be struck and killed by a city bus on NYE 99/00/01, so my staying home those years was merely sensible precaution.
’99 I was working that night until 2am (then, like an idiot, drove 2 hours in a blizzard), ’00 was at MBI’s place watching a crappy movie and checking with friends on IRC to make sure shit still worked (it did), ’01 was at K’s brother’s apartment in Brooklyn, again with something on TV and a board game.
As far as the childhood iterations went, it was either “have a babysitter and go to bed whenever” or “folks have friends over, stay up until 12:15 and go to bed.” Nothing exactly earth-shattering.
High school, when staying up to midnight on my own terms was finally in the cards, I began to realize my loathing for the manufactured excitement of the event. Being among the social outcasts and misfits, we’d tend to have our own party at someone’s house, which was a fairly staid affair, but even among this crew, it was a bunch of single folks not prone to getting into any kind of hanky-panky (or much inclined to do so anyway), so that whole “kiss at midnight to ring in the new year with luck” thing was essentially fucked (or half-assedly faked) from the get-go.
College was essentially the same story; the only one that sticks out in my mind might even be from the year afterward — playing D&D with some friends and my then-long-distance-girlfriendat my parents’ place.
Ever since 2001, I’ve tried to keep my fucking head down, because I don’t need the incessant reminders of how little was accomplished in the year gone by (by myself, or in a larger sense), the huge pressure of expectations of the new year’s shiny newness and superosity, or even the trivial and annoying resentments of the midnight rituals – be they a kiss, champagne, or Auld Lang Fucking Syne. I don’t want to do any of those things, and the unspoken “well, fuck YOU” that society seems to bequeath upon me for rejecting them, pre-emptively trying to doom my coming year to failure for not caputulating, can go fuck itself.
I will not subjugate my wants to the expectations of an event I loathe. I put up with hours’ worth of hipsters and bullshit and was basically miserable and pissy last year to make someone else happy. Didn’t do me a whole lot of fucking good as far as 2009 went. I fail to see how sparing myself anything of the sort this time around is anything but a plus.
This night, I do not want or need to surround myself with desperate strangers, frantically flinging themselves into a future they won’t remember the next morning. If there is any light of hope for success in the dawn of a new day, it’s because I am burning the bodies, my own first upon the pyre. I am not a Phoenix; the calendar is not an Ourobouros.
I can knock back a shot of bitterness and loathing and spit on the corpse of the year just fine by myself, thanks.