The Eve of New Year’s Eve


As I write this, it is the day before the last day of the year, and I sit once more at the table in the Boston condo. To my left, the Hancock Tower twinkles in the cold night sky. Perched perhaps precariously close to this keyboard is a large mug of hot chamomile tea. Tendrils of steam curl off its surface, and I blow on it each time I take a small, quick sip. The day turned progressively colder as the sun went down. The wind picked up. Whispers of trouble at home, if we can ever really call a place home, have reached me even from a distance. Unlike others, I will not get into blaming or acting a victim. Tonight, I am alone. Contentedly so. Neither lonely nor sad, neither giddy nor drunk, I sit in the single place where I’ve ever felt completely at ease, completely myself.

I wear a somewhat garish silk kimono, procured a couple of days ago at The Shops at Porter Square. I went there for some soba noodles and came home with a kimono. It seemed a perfect trade-off. It eases the pain of so much ugliness in the world.

On this evening, I eat the remains of a Basque fish soup that I made the night before. Rather than run wild on such a cold night, I will stay here. Read a little. Maybe watch the DVD of ‘Grand Hotel’ that I brought with me but have never seen. Or perhaps I’ll just sit still and be very quiet. I’ve made enough noise this past year (though far less than some would have you believe – I don’t break things outside of my own house, thank you very much). But I suppose when you break something you run the risk of being blamed for breaking everything.

Across the street, the third floor of another Boston brownstone is occupied by warm light, and holiday candles in the windows. I’ve watched this person make dinner for almost twenty years – he is (now) an elderly man with gray hair, and whenever I’m in town I see him hunched over his stove, working on dinner. It is a great comfort, especially when so much of life is uncertain. I do not know for whom he cooks. I’m assuming it’s for at least one other person, else why would someone go to all that trouble so consistently? Maybe I just want to believe that. Maybe I don’t want anyone to be alone.

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