I am on the edge.
2012 is about thirty seconds from being over, and 2013 is coming at me fast.
I am standing on the back porch of my parent’s house, watching someone else’s firework. Bright flashes of multicolored lights that I barely see as I dwell in my own head.
I am wondering: why do we sever ourselves from the past but then dwell on it?
Why can’t we forget?
Old ghosts seem to be coming back to haunt me tonight.
Someone starts singing Auld Lang Syne drunkenly across the street.
I haven’t taken my medication… I don’t know if that’s why I can’t stop obsessing, or if I’m just melancholy.
It’s not the way I want to start the new year. I don’t want to be here. I was supposed to be in downtown Philadelphia with some friends. But a friend got sick and the party was cancelled too late to make other plans. And now…
Now I watch the false golden starlight of fireworks under a cloudy sky.
Maybe that’s why this night has felt rough, my mind recalling new years from before and how shitty they seemed in hindsight. The parts not with my friends. The parts with other men, other places. The years in school, miserable, feeling so alone.
God, I hated that feeling. I shiver.
At least you’re not spending it over a toilet, I remind myself. Those years are long gone.
My mother counts down out loud beside me.
The arms of my lover feel strong as they come around me. He shelters me from the cold of the night.
“Why didn’t you wear your jacket outside?” he asks me as he nuzzles my hair. “You don’t want to get sick again.”
I don’t want to get sick again, I think. I want to be well.
So be well, I tell myself. You idiot.
“HAPPY NEW YEAR!” My mother screeches, dancing around on the balls of her feet. She blows the noisemaker retrieved from storage.
His arms vanish as he dials his own mother, ever a sweetheart, ever thinking of others.
Well, I don’t need his arms to feel secure.
I’ll wrap myself up in the blanket of this night and remind myself that it’s a new year.
I take a deep breath and join my mom, whooping at my neighbors.
I’m tired of being on the edge of anger, of hate, of pain. This guilty post-school graduation misery, feeling trapped and sad.
This year, it’s going to be different.
He rejoins me, giving me a passionate midnight-and-two-minute kiss. Then he stands beside me, laughing at my mother’s antics as she dances in her slippers, in the snow.
The three of us welcome 2013 as illegal fireworks light the sky above us and I resolve to put the past where it belongs:
in the past.
Happy New Year.
I gave David Wiley at http://scholarlyscribe.wordpress.com this prompt: A short drama set in a locale that is exotic to you.
I was experimenting with a new tense today, which I’m not sure I like, but I tried, anyway.
This New Year’s was not happy for me at first. While the above account was a bit fictionalized, it was based on some reality. I have been spending a while feeling melancholy and miserable. I hated my college career so much (the experience, not the friends I made) that I sort of forgot the good things I learned from it. It’s been two freakin’ years. It’s time I get over it and move on. I don’t know why my OCD decided to dwell on that the other night, but it did. But a little before midnight, I sort of just stopped myself and gave into the celebratory spirit.
So I hope this year you all are happy. I wish you the promise of love, the joy of the friends around you, and all the best things in the world. Happy 2013, dear readers.
Resolutions and a Write on Edge challenge to follow!