The bartender leaves another bottle of beer, this is my 12th one I think. I lost count, but my head is buzzing and as long as I keep my thoughts away from the bad things, a smile tugs easily at my lips.
It’s easy to smile at the happy groups of festive people, out and about. Chatting and drinking, watching the John-bull frolic in the heritage square. How they squeal as the dancers approach them, laughing in their faked fight. I remember…no, I don’t want to remember.
“New world in the morning so they saaaaaaaaaaayyyy”
The DJ announces that it’s almost that time and everyone huddles in the cramped space of the bar. A man fights to the stool beside me, but not for himself, he props a woman up on it. She places her hand on her distended belly and beams up at him. Why does that ache so much?
Maybe something stronger. I raise my hand to the summon the bar man and a huge warm weight settles on my shoulder. It’s a friend, smiling brightly if a little lop sided, wishing me a happy new year and a blessed night. It will after all be better tomorrow, a new year, new possibilities, new us. I smile back and nod. Make that stronger thing a double.
“I myself don’t talk about a new world in the morning.”
…9,8…everybody makes resolutions, that make them feel all hopeful. Useless, I take a swig…7,6…it’s all going to be same tomorrow. The same sun will rise and the same breeze will blow. The same crooks will be in office and the same old walls will greet us…5,4…the same old limitations, the same endless scramble to survive, the same enemies dressed in masks we love. The same old shit that sends us out on Old Years night to drink alone and try not to remember the…3,2…the things that made us this bitter. 1!!!!!!!!!!!
“New world in the morning that’s today.”
Nobody noticed my cackling in their celebration. I was bitter. I had known it before I sat at this bar, but it mingled with the memories and stung worse than the cheap cane rum. No amount of pretty wishes made at midnight would make the morning glare any less painful.
Another warn hand, this one smaller. Joined by another the circle my shoulders and someone almost half my size makes my whole body feel warm. I can’t look at her, I failed her, yet another year. Another new years, another set of wishes I wouldn’t be able to fulfill. the stool swiveled. Seated I was eye to eye with her five foot nothing.
And warm brown eye melted away something I wasn’t sure I wanted to let go. Something that said I didn’t deserve the shelter of her arms, the warmth of her smile, to be accepted by her. Everybody else knows it. Why didn’t she?
“Let’s go home.”
I wasn’t going to be a new world in the morning. But I had a new determination to earn her.