this is a story I started at New Years, but have yet to finish....
|2004 began as no year before it EVER had. It wanted to be different. It didn’t want to follow in the footsteps of its ancestors, and be a good little New Year, by beginning at Midnight, like it was supposed to. That was boring. AND predictable.
This newest addition to the 21st Century, and indeed, all Centuries before that, wanted to be Unpredictable. In fact, it wanted to launch itself upon the unsuspecting (and rather innocent) world at any time OTHER than the designated starting moment of Midnight. And so it chose to begin its new life at precisely 11:49am, on the 12th of January.
Poor 2003! When Midnight arrived on the 31st of December, and 2004 wasn’t there to greet it and taken on the time-honoured mantle of the New Year, 2003 panicked. People all over the world counted down to Midnight (as was expected of them), assuming that, like every other year before it, a New Year would begin when they reached ‘one’. But nothing happened. Nada. 2003 just….continued. It didn’t know what to do, though. It couldn’t very well continue the days of December, until 2004 decided to show up, but it was not at all keen on the idea of pretending to be January 2004, when it very obviously was not, either.
But given that 2004 hadn’t arrived as it should, the Old Year didn’t rightly have any choice – and so 2003 became 2003-pretending-to-be-2004.
Ah! What a quandary the New (that was really just the Old in disguise) Year found itself in!
It was neither December 2003, nor January 2004, though it felt it had more right to be the former over the latter, if truth be told (and telling the truth is ALWAYS important, according to every good and dutiful parent, apparently), as that had been the last stage of its previous occupation (for want of a better word). Though, in actual fact, it was STILL its occupation, in a funny sort of a way.
But what of 2004, I hear you ask! Well, 2004 had been having a fine and dandy time, gallivanting around, with n’er a care in the world as to what the consequences of its actions were.
It went to all the right parties (‘New Years-sort-of’ parties, they were called, for want of a better name), met the most influential and important people, wined (and whined) and dined (and even danced, though it tended to step on its partners’ feet a little too often for their liking), and at one party, actually got up and had a go at the karaoke machine (that is at least until the audience begged it to stop, as its never ending rendition of Blue Suede Shoes was just so terribly bad….not to mention painful to listen to.
The days of this ‘not-quite-January-but-no-longer-December’ month whizzed by – or so at least it seemed to the recalcitrant 2004.
For 2003, however, time was taking its toll on the poor Old Year-that-should-have-ended-already.
By the 5th of January-sort-of, it was feeling lost and confused, and not a little bit guilty for not being able to make a smooth transition between being an actual year, and pretending to be a New Year.
Oh! How it cursed the ‘actual’ New Year, 2004! How it promised to rain down all manner of horrors upon its descendent, when it finally bothered to show up for duty! Oh! How it cried itself to sleep at night, wondering what the new day would bring, and if it would, per chance, bring a New Year by the title of 2004, with it. Kicking and screaming would be fine, just so long as it TURNED UP!
The 10th of January-sort-of came and went. Still no 2004. People were starting to laugh now. They were beginning to call 2003 names, and say nasty things about it when they thought it wasn’t listening. 2003 was starting to get worried.
The morning of the 11th-sort-of-January-but-also-sort-of-still-December-something began as all the rest of the past ten sort-of-days-of-January had begun. Badly.
As a strange quirk of fate, both the Old and the New Years had decided on the evening of the 10th, to go out and drown their sorrows. 2003 was drowning its sorrows because it knew it was doing a really lousy job as a stand-in for the recalcitrant New Year, and 2004 had chosen to get as inebriated as possible because it had been turned down (again), by a really fantastic-looking babe it was SURE it should have scored with. So what if she had a boyfriend? 2004 was better than any boyfriend. It was a NEW YEAR! A BIG DEAL! She could get seen with IT! She could be famous.
By an even stranger quirk of fate, both years, Old and New, chose the same seedy little dive on the outskirts of the same seedy little town in the middle of nowhere, to drown their sorrows.
And as we all know, fact is often stranger than fiction. 2003 and 2004 chose barstools side by side.