Yesterday was the not only the end of a year, but the end of my trip home to visit my family in North Carolina. I had planned and packed for a trip lasting only three days, but thanks to the Second North American Blizzard of 2010 aka Snowmageddon aka Snowpocalypse, I was in the Good Ol’ North State for nearly a week. Left with no choice, I took the earliest flight out of OAJ which was the 12:40pm flight with two connections, returning to LGA at 6:30pm on New Year’s Eve. After less than lovely flights on propeller planes, I almost succumbed to my bed’s calls. “I’ve missed you. You’ve missed me. Let’s catch up, shall we?”
“Some other time…” I had two hours to go from Frequent Flyer to Foxy New Year’s Eve Reveler. I could hear the tick of my mother’s kitchen timer in my head while I showered. Hurry hurry! You can’t miss this bus, the next won’t come for another hour. There would be no way you’d make it Downtown before midnight. My next thought left me frozen. You’d ring in the New Year, alone.
*Cue the Psycho scream*
Call it tradition or superstition, but for as long as I can remember, my New Year’s Eve celebrations have always been with loved ones and/or friends. The thought of me, alone, on a subway car between the Hunts Point and Longwood Avenue stops at the stroke of midnight was terrifying. Entering a new year surrounded by strangers? What would that mean for the rest of the year? Was my Spinster prophecy coming true? No, I cannot enter the New Year with negative thoughts. As I dressed, I began to spin the outcome and meaning of me ringing in the New Year solo. I moved back to New York in December 2001. Twenty-eleven will mark my ten year anniversary, for which I do plan to throw a party. I moved here alone, leaving all that was familiar behind in North Carolina. I was surrounded by strangers. I went from seeing the same people everyday to utter newness. I had no friends, didn’t know anyone in any of my classes. I even ate lunch alone. Were things coming full circle? You’ve got no time to think about this right now. Hurry hurry!
The transit gods were on my side. I caught my bus and the train showed up as scheduled. Leaping over piles of now tarnished snow, I arrived at our meeting place on time. However, my friends had not. They were on their way, but stuck in traffic. It’s 11:15 pm, no big deal. Fifteen minutes pass and then another fifteen. They still had not arrived. The pounding bass of the music was not enough to quiet my thoughts. It’s fate and a cycle completing itself. You can’t fight fate. Just let it be. My phone vibrates and interrupts my internal pep talk.
It’s a text. “Nside.” My arms fly above my head and my feet do a quick shuffle. People must have thought the DJ was playing my jam. He wasn’t and I didn’t care that I looked like Mumble in the middle of the dance floor. And as we counted down to midnight, the tradition continued. Philia had foiled my supposed fate.
Happy New Year!