I think New Year's is a good day to feel subdued. A good day to feel contrite. A good day to pause at the "2007" scrawled across the front page and feel a little despondent about the passing of time.
New Year's Eve is all about the hunt. What do we keep searching for? I never find out. But I join the masses clawing through the wind-whipped streets, smoky bars and 2 a.m. Samosa stops. I want to believe we're looking for the defined moment, the sharp clarity that cuts a straight line between past and future, that carves away the bad and smoothes out the good. But all I see are the faces, hidden behind lipstick and glitter and cardboard hats. I hear the muddled voices, lost in the white noise. I hear them and see them again.
In 2006 in the fog of Alaska edible-art-induced food poisoning.
In 2005 in the deep snow drifts of the Uinta Mountains.
In 2004 echoed in the distant fireworks over City Creek Canyon.
In 2003 in the company of friends who were about to disperse forever.
In 2002 in the quiet calm surrounding Oneida Lake, New York.
In 2001 in fiery exchanges between week-old friends and lifelong strangers.
In 2000 in a wave of bodies streaming down the Las Vegas Strip.
In 1999 lost and longing in the streets of First Night, Salt Lake City.
In 1998 gasping for air in Portland, Oregon.
In 1997 screeching down I-15 packed 10-high in a 1960s Mercury Monterey.
It's fun to think back to those "Happy New Year" moments and remember every single one at that eruptive minute, remember all of the events that came after and all of the people that slipped away. That as I watched those bleary-eyed faces count down the final seconds, all I wanted to see was time holding still.