The year is ebbing away. The last memories and moments experiencing a brief revival before being placed into storage - sprouting feathers from nowhere and exploding colours in strange combinations that should never normally be combined.
I am supposed to have a surge of feeling, maybe a new burst of optimism, or else a great feeling of loss. The truth is that at new year I tend to feel I am missing something - a great party had by other people in a glamorous or bohemian setting, where plans are made that will challenge the future.
It doesn't help that I have a spiritual affection for New Year - the idea of rebirth, a second chance, of forgiveness or re-forging a life, appeal to the humanitarian (and maybe the utopian) in me. There should be celebration at the year's end, there should be gathering and enjoyment of people wider than just family, there should be a time to consider, to take stock and to resume with renewed energy. Yet I never feel I rise to meet the occasion.
I suspect this sense has its foundations in a new year where I experienced the joy of being a child at an adults party; and better the great sense of ebullience that comes from breathing in the adult fumes at the party. This experience left me with a reminiscence of great hope and euphoria, and somehow all subsequent New Years haven't quite measured up.
A great part of this problem is the need to plan the evening so carefully: I am unable to relax knowing that transport will run out, or that drinks need to be bought five at a time and that there is no guarantee that where you stood is where you will stay. For a time where talking, memories and shared experiences are so vital, the inability to communicate with anyone does my nut. Yet a bottle of fizz in the house doesn't quite seem to mark the moment. So how do I deal with this dilemma? Well I guess finding some perspective is useful - after all it's not the end of the world.
It could be though! What if it all ended tomorrow? Would I have done enough, how would I feel?... Melodramatic true, but I can't help feeling the millennium bug gave a purpose to the whole thing, and that Prince got it right. Otherwise, well - y'know, it's just another night.