In a couple of hours 2015 would be consigned to the annals of history; the subject of tales, myths, and perhaps even legends. We would enter 2016 but, why?
The simplest answer would perhaps be that it’s what follows in the chronological assignment of time as the measure of life, per the Gregorian calendar.
That answer defines why I’m unexcited by the “Happy New Year” bug. Why should I be? It’s not some gift or reward for something, nor is it a sign of anything. It’s just the accepted consequent of human life continuing past 23:59hrs on December 31st 2015.
Of course, as a child, “Happy New Year” meant a lot of interesting things. Family members returning from other countries to spoil us with chocolates, thrills, and trips; new clothes that were a size too big so we could anticipate growing into them, beautiful shoes a size too big that we could intelligently fill up with tissue, paper, and socks while awaiting the day within the new year that we would grow into them, and of course, parties to which we could wear these new things and show our parents’ fashion sense off, while having little squabbles about whose things were the finest or fit best. Damn! Those were days of innocence, mindless enjoyment, and lots of stupid.
As we grew into adolescence we realised the best part of festivities such as the new year was whining for, and getting things our parents would usually not let us have. We could pig out on ice-cream, stay beyond our bed time watching movies, do the new hairstyle that was rave and supposedly for grown-ups, and hang out at parties till 10p.m while our parents went home (as far as some of our same sex friends or older cousins could swear we’d not be up to any mischief). It was less innocent, because our parents’ backs were usually barely turned before we’d start winking at the boy who had been trying to catch our attention before. And after some years, we took ice-cream hoping that all the cream in it would form milk in our chest so we could dazzle boys and make other girls jealous in the new year with brand new heavy boobs. We would also watch late night movies and pretend to cover our eyes during steamy scenes, while indeed watching most attentively through the spaces between our fingers. Those years weren’t much less stupid, apparently.
Now the problem is, “New Year” got boring, and annoying. Family became the loved people you couldn’t be around for too long without hating, parties became needless, ice-cream and other interesting foods became ‘bad for the body’. To worsen matters, we could have new shoes and clothes, but with no hope of ‘growing into’ anything. That might not have been so bad if we didn’t have to buy them ourselves, and take the blame for their not-so-perfectedness all by ourselves. And, by far the most annoying of all these, we realised Santa didn’t really spiral down chimneys to give us gifts we really want, and that the things we want the most are not for sale in any shop or market. Damn! And we have to keep up the cheery happy-about-the-festivities facade or risk being party poopers for the little ones. The bloody circle of deceit, did you say? Away from the gloomy though, what if every year was not merely a metric for the identification and calculation of time?
What if, just what if, every year was a being with a spirit? And was ours to define and forge?
Well, that’s the thought that’s going to take me through vigil tonight without becoming murderous when some stranger rubs up against me in the name of there being ‘too much crowd’. It’s also the thought that would keep my happy-about-the-festivities face in place tomorrow when anyone gets too happy and acts stupid. That, and the Amarula that would be tucked invisibly away in my pocket, somewhere between the voluminous folds of my skirt.
Really though, after the festivities are gone and I’m either broke or recovered from all the excessive spending, I’ll be making love to 2016; making it mine in every way conceivable. It would bear me memories to testify to our scandalous passions; children I would not have to take to beaches at festivities. And, when it’s December 31st 2016, I’ll be on to the next one, randy and jolly.
You should try same.