i was on the subway, one stop from home, when the clock struck twelve ushering in another year.
the train conductor announced it on the intercom and all of us sitting there--all of us who somehow found themselves on a train between stations when the ball dropped in times square, looked up and smiled.
it was such a perfect moment. it was such a perfect way to commemorate the end of one year and the start of the next--by just simply living it, a nod to thing as opposed to a full-throated shout. it felt so very good and right and like the real new york, assuming of course there is a real new york, which i'm not tremendously sure there is.
can i admit something? i've sort of given up on the notion of new year's. there's something about the last days of december into the first few weeks of january that always makes me feel as though the world is flat and i've reached its edge: a terrible and fearsome and two-dimensional precipice.
january is a lonely month. it just is. january is lonely and i within it am lonely. and to try to fight that loneliness by resolving and genie-blinking myself into a new year when the clock strikes twelve somehow feels wrong. existential crisis or some such.
i'm more of the-clock-turns-twelve-cinderalla-mentality. one shoe down.
i'm not interested in new year's. i'm interested in the rest of the year. i'm interested in getting the shoe back and the then-what.
but the announcement on the train's intercom was deeply comforting. and when i got off at carrol street not two minutes later and there were fireworks in the east and fireworks in the west--full on fourth-of-july-fireworks, i felt deeply eased. quite at peace. not so lonely.
so i went home and made myself nachos. with cheese and black beans. a natural choice for the year's first food, obviously.
when i saw my friend kim the next day she said, i went home last night and made myself mac-and-cheese.
i made myself nachos! i replied, secretly delighted that both of our pallet's resembled that of an eight-year-old. but they had black beans on them, i continued. and seeing how black beans are dangerously close to black-eyed-peas i felt justified by the sheer proximity of the symbolism.
what are you talking about? was all kim said.
black-eyed-peas? good luck? the new year? oh, is this a southern thing?
turns out it is. i know because i googled. and the image that the website ran with was a heaping pile of black-eyed-peas on the very dishware that populates my mother's cabinets.
there are moments i am keenly aware that i am from somewhere else. and let me be clear that the south--and texas are most especially somewhere-else. and i say that now with the deepest affection.
just the other day a man looked right at me and said you're not from here are you? you're a southern girl. he didn't know me but for a moment and he himself wasn't from new york or california or any state in between (i think he was welsh), but it was one of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me.
it's taken me a long time to own my texan roots. but i'm starting to realize that anything of worth takes a good long time.
i may not buy into the new year's in the way that i used to--no more lose 10 lbs or best-year-of-my-life resolutions. but i resolve quite a bit. and so i resolve that this year i will continue the good fight for those things of value. i will take bigger risks and own with a clearer voice my southern eccentricities and texan charm. i will live my life and trust that the other shoe will find me. because when cinderalla gets that glass slipper back, well, that's when the real adventure begins. that's the bit i'm most interested in.
alright new year, let's dance.
Posted by meg fee at 9:38 AM