Tuesday, December 31, 2013

It's Nice to Be Alive

Everyone says the stars are brightest on the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year.

From a scientific standpoint, I'm sure they're right. But somehow, tonight, the stars seemed brighter. There is a crispness to the air, an iciness that shivers down your throat and burrows into a crevice of your lungs, lending a sort of sheen to every hovering cloud of your misted breath. You can hear the whoops and yells of revelers, the answering whine of police cars rushing to scenes of drunken misadventures, the sharp, canon-fire BANG of fireworks echoing out across the night sky.

Maybe some day, when I'm older, I will listen to classy jazz songs and sip elegant Whiskey Sours and Diamond Martinis from silver glasses as I silently herald the coming new year. But I'm not some vague, faceless, classy adult just yet. I'm a ridiculous teenaged girl, my skin rife with acne and my nails chipped with nail polish, who watched the Star Trek 2009 movie for the millionth time tonight while sipping a cocktail made with Sunny-D and sparkling apple cider. I will be leaving no perfectly-smudged lipstick kisses on stranger's lips tonight, won't be popping any shimmering silver party poppers. But despite that, I can still smell the gunpowder in the night air. A side effect of the fireworks, I suppose- faint, but noticeable.

I actually don't remember what I did for New Year's last year. Can't recall if there were any specific songs played or resolutions said, have no clue if any sparkling-something was poured or countdowns made. But I do know everything that came after New Year's Eve, all that occurred in 2013. I can remember the smiles and tears and laughter and screams, the afternoons spent wandering around forests and reading to my grandmother, volunteering with dogs and pointedly ignoring my sister. I know that I have made it through a messy, immature, formative year. This is the year I changed my handwriting, discovered red lipstick and learned the chemical composition of gunpowder.

And even if, years from now, my handwriting has changed once more and I no longer wear red lipstick- if I've become that "classy", jazz-listening, Whiskey-sour-sipping lady, I will still smell the gunpowder in the rapid fire POP of my party poppers- faint, but noticeable.

And I will remember the little house at the end of the lane, with it's shared bedrooms and dog-haired carpets. I will remember what I survived in 2013, and I will remember the composition of sulfur, charcoal and potassium nitrate.

Here's hoping 2014 makes a bang for all of us.

No comments: