I’ve come home for New Year’s where I won’t be wearing novelty sunglasses, dodging ricocheting champagne corks, startling people with blow horns. New Year’s Eve is a time to be surrounded by as many strangers as possible. People help fill in the silences, drive out the thoughts and we have someone to link arms with for a moment, to lean on as we belt out Auld Lang Syne. Strangers will offer the required sentimentality that crowns the party whereas loved ones mightn’t summon it up for us the way we imagine it should be. Tonight, more than any other night, we crave a room filled to the rafters with warm bodies and don’t balk at paying hundreds of dollars for the privilege.
Couldn’t think of anything worse this year. I want to clearly hear my thoughts. I’ve been paying extra special attention all day in case they start chiming in early. I’ve kept my ears peeled. Nothing coming through yet but I’m patient.
I’m in the middle of nowhere so reception might be patchy.
In the meantime I’m entertained by the sight of my childhood bicycle still hanging from the shed’s rafters, and mum’s trays of wheatgrass sprouting on top of her bedspread evoking an image of 90s LA mixed with Homes and Gardens--Greenhouse edition. I stare into a stoked fire, and gorge on fluffy potatoes boiled in their skins. I pass not-so-fluffy sheep that were white last time, now rolled in muck. The sound of a clock ticking signals nothing but the passing of evening into night, the same as it does every other evening. The glamour quotient is dimmed. I don’t bring high heels. I know from experience that they never get an outing around home. I wear a pair of quilted bedroom slippers my aunt bought my mum. Turns out self examination will have to wait as I become the subject of the portrait my brother will spend New Year’s on.
Important thoughts still somewhere in transit. The roads may be frosty. I’ll be here when they come, waiting…
However you choose to spend the evening, may it be peaceful and happy, and wherever the year takes you, may you have your wellies at the ready, to go plodding on in despite the muck. And may someone have your slippers warming by the fire when you come back in.
If your New Year’s resolution happens to be to read more, my novel is available. You can buy Silk for the Feed Dogs here.