Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep / I Pray Whitesnake My Soul To Keep

In writing an e-mail to someone yesterday asking about their New Year's Eve debauchery, I suddenly remembered one of those completely repressed, terribly embarassing moments of my pre-adolescent life. Consider my sharing it your New Year's gift, a couple of days late.

Because I wasn't even marginally cool in late middle school and early high school, I never had anything to do on New Year's Eve. I think I spent every December 31 in my parents' living room, though they had undoubtedly both gone to bed by ten-thirty--but not before robbing any vestige of excitement I had about midnight by reminding me that if you've seen a ball drop once it's plenty.

Do you remember when you were a kid, and you became convinced that the smallest, weirdest actions would have an effect on something completely unrelated? My younger brother was compelled to look in every garbage can he came into contact with during his fourth year, and my younger younger brother had to say "checkamail" every time he passed a mailbox in the car when he was about a year old. I remember truly believing that if I didn't wait for the schoolbus on the right side of a crack in my neighbor's driveway I would have a horrible day.

My New Year's must have grown out of that kind of impulse, although at twelve I was probably too old to believe that whatever I was doing the second the ball dropped would determine the tenor of the whole year. But, I swear, I really, really believed it.

Which is why during my seventh and eighth grade years, I would spend the fifteen minutes leading up to midnight looking for my portable CD player and rooting through the pantry for a couple of AA batteries that looked like they might be younger than me and have four minutes worth of life left in them, all so that at the stroke of midnight I could hit play and single-handedly force the cosmos into submission with one song, the only melody powerful enough to make even my twelve-year-old, non-existent love life blossom with soap-worthy vigor.

That song, of course, was Bon Jovi's Always.

Picture me, bespectacled, orthodontiaed, flanneled over tye-dye, orange Dorito-dusted, passionately rocking out to Always, convinced in my soul that this heavenly combination of guitar and electric piano, the true music of the spheres, was dancing into place the perfect alignment of planets, stars, and locker assignments to land me with my crush at the next canteen.

And they say kids today don't have religion. I prayed intensely at the Church of St. Jovi of the Big Hair.

News briefs: it's raining today in New York. Brad, Kai and I ate s'mores last night, a lovely experience which was only minorly marred by a preteen in way-too-short-shorts. Brad and I saw the Lemony Snicket movie, which I enjoyed the crap out of. Kai's winging it to Paris this very evening.

May St. Perry, patron saint of the Journey, be with her.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

my crazy moments happened when i was taking the bus. first, while i was waiting at the bus stop, i had to watch my mother as she left for work in her lumina. she would tap her brakes as she drove away from me to let me know she knew i was watching, and god help me if she forgot one day or if i happened to not be watching for her. the when the bus came, i would get on and it would drive back past my house and then by my grandmother's house along the trip to school, and if i missed seeing either of them, i felt sick to my stomach and knew that the rest of the day was going to be terrible.

11:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

See, I STILL do it...my alarm goes off at 5:04, because I don't like setting my alarm for even numbers, and then again at 5:17, and that's when I get up if I'm feeling ambitious, and those are days when I'm going to have really really good days, but if I'm just going to have an okay day I get up at the next alarm, 5:26, because 5:25 is on a five, and that would be a bad day too. I also have to hear the very beginning of the Z-100 radio broadcast, or else the day's not right...I have to be in the car for the part where Elvis says "Let's have a show."

11:55 AM  

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