Sunday, January 01, 2017


I was deep in the galactic system of Ooo, queuing up several buildings to be constructed on the surface of my home planet, Orgalorg. Suddenly I was ripped out of this distance universe and back to reality here on Earth.

"Carly! Carly!" Instant panic, stomach in butt. I pull off my headphones. My mother is at the foot of the stairs. "They're doing the fireworks!"

Oh. That's all. I pause my game and follow my mother to the back door, dragging my slippers along the carpet. With a srqueeechk, it swings open and we can see the brilliant bursts beyond our fence and through the treeline. I try to leave because I'm cold but my mom insists that we watch the whole show.

"It's only a few minutes," she urges me. I relent and stay, clutching my hands together as if in prayer and chattering my teeth.

When you're cold, a few minutes seems like a long time. In the first few minutes of the new year, I found myself thinking of Mckenzie, imagining her on a crowded dance floor, swaying under a blue light to the crooning of The Crane Wives. The scene changes and now I see Caitlyn, at home in bed, snuggling up to Nick and pulling him in for the first kiss of the new year. I wonder if Cassandra is with her new boy toy or home alone, maybe already asleep, with Fred cuddled up next to her slumbering form. The mental montage continues: Josiah calling his girlfriend, longing for the next hour to pass swiftly; Brad and Miranda under the fireworks; across the avenue, Chaz's face being illuminated by fiery explosions; Lucas in some bar in Colorado; Lloyd praying for the strength to remain sober.

Yet again, I'm thrust back into the real world as I hear the distant roar of the crowd downtown. I can pick out at least a dozen separate "Happy New Year!" waves rolling across the happy ball drop attendees. I found myself remembering past adventures down to the event, the even split of disappointment and elation over the years. I couldn't help but feel a little left out, a little alone. What's the point of gold medals if you never win the match? Who cares if you're right if there's no one willing to listen to you?

Is it really all a big pissing contest?

Do people actually like me or do they like the perks my friendship provides?

When I've run out of luck and I need someone to bail me out, who's really there?

What will it take for me to admit I'm wrong, I don't understand, I need help, I'm in over my head?

Why do I feel so damn alone?

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