My New Year’s resolution, three years running: Whatever I want, I’m just gonna take.
It’s not exclusively because I’m selfish and unwavering in my pathetically thin-skinned bravado that I make this promise to myself—it’s mostly because of my general disdain of the holiday, and I think this resolution is not only a giant fuck-you to December 31st, but also to anyone and everyone who feels I should be having a good time.
And those who, in their heart of hearts, think I should quit smoking, not drink so much, lose some weight, eat healthier, call my parents more often and make less jokes at the expense of others.
The most popular midnight in the world. A year finished, over, done. Another one to crack open.
Thanks for rubbing it in.
If I had done everything I wanted to do this year, everything I thought I was capable of, I wouldn’t need 2007, would I? New Year’s is a trap like that. It’s everyone’s second chance. Or twenty-sixth, for me, but who’s counting.
And yet, despite the inevitability of me tumbling into bittersweet despondency with the careening 10-9-8-7 and so on, I look back on past New Year debacles fondly, like you would a shit-shoveling job you had in high school but afforded you gasoline and coffee with your friends at the diner.
I first kissed a girl on New Year’s Eve. I was 15. She got lipstick all over my face. I was unaware. Her father saw it. The rest is history. History that I don’t remember so well.
My first New Year’s drunk I ran around with my friends and vandalized lawn Christmas decorations. Stole a big Santa. I puked beer and whiskey and peach schnapps. We didn’t think we were punks. We didn’t even know what that meant. It was grand and pure and fun and I wish I could do it again.
I remember chugging champagne and wanting to kill myself in a Holiday Inn room one year, surrounded by friends of friends who were asking themselves why I was there in the first place. Another year, a girl I was dating spit-up in my car, out of nowhere, and my friend had to rush her into Nick’s Beer Garden to clean her up. I was left with cleaning the car, mumbling to myself and wondering what the fuck had just happened.
Spent a New Year’s in the Fireside Bowl bar, watched my girlfriend make out with strangers when the ball dropped. It was all very punk rock. Had a nice time at the Beachwood Inn one year, which was followed by a late-late dance party at the then-striving Buddy, slamming cans of Old Style and feeling the floor slowly give way to the stomping Cons.
I always intend to stay in, have a few beers, watch movies and get to bed early. But I’m just fooling myself. Some plans will be made day-of, some last-minute party, someone’s bartending tonight, some band’s playing somewhere. Gotta call my little sister at midnight and make sure she’s not out with some drunk-driving asshole. I have to make some promises to myself. Must vow, again, to not celebrate the new year anymore. Gotta kiss my sweetheart. One more glass of champagne. Start anew, forget those I’ve met, or so the song goes. We’re all in this together, we’re a team, it’s us against the world and all that other shit. Because whatever we want, we can just take. (Tom Lynch)