Last year, at this time, 8 minutes to midnight, I lay in bed with my S, watching the extended version of Lord of the Rings. That was the last place I expected to be– but it was home.
Last year, I was exceptionally excited for New Year’s. While it was to be my 3rd New Year’s Eve in Chile, it was to be my first in Valparaiso. For those who are not familiar with Chilean traditions, on New Year’s Eve, the bay off Valparaiso has its horizon filled with multiple (17) fireworks shows. I love fireworks; I love New Year’s, I love Valparaiso– it seemed too perfect. While the whole country was flocking and spending tons of money, I had a great apartment with a view. I was so excited.
But, one by one, all my friends flaked out on me. Some of them had been wishy-washy from the beginning. Others pulled out at the last minute. S had offered to come “if no one else would– like a last resort”. I told him not to. I knew he didn’t want to. I had confidence in my friends, some of whom I had known for a decade.
I was wrong.
And, then, once it was clear I was to be alone, I had a decision to make: should I stay and enjoy the fireworks with my lonely self and a scardy-cat dog or should I take a bus to some other city and be with friends. It was too late to get S to come. I have had great New Year’s Eve parties in other cities with friend, but I just didn’t want to do it. I wanted Valpo.
In the end, S convinced me to come home. He doesn’t celebrate New Year’s Eve– so it was to be the anti-party for me. But, as I was sad and lonely, it was what was best.
I took a bus– what a nightmare on New Year’s Eve— but made it. We had dinner with his dad and brother; I think it was steak. Then he and I curled up in bed for a Lord of the Rings marathon. To tell the truth, I wouldn’t have known it was midnight except the neighbors cheered and we could hear (small) distant fireworks.
This year is even more anti-climatic and yet even better. I started the day a bit depressed– a job fell through, looks like S won’t be able to travel until April instead of March, and I was lonely. I went online and bought a plane ticket. I can’t say that this was a financially responsible choice, but I need to be home even just for a little bit. I leave for the airport in 12 hours. I spent this New Year’s Eve in my PJs (again) packing. While I was not home, I knew I will be soon.
Maybe this weekend S and I will curl up and relive the Lord of the Rings marathon.
Happy New Years 2009!