Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Heads Will Roll (A-Track Remix) (get the mp3 at dailybeatz)
The year ticks to a close while I’m on an elevator travelling between floors. I glance at my phone to determine the time and am shocked to see the numbers glowing on the screen, midnight already. I hug my friend B and we scream our Happy New Year! to the walls until the doors slide open and our cab awaits. She tells me later the guy she is seeing steals a first kiss, a first kiss and a New Years kiss, on the pavement in front of her building while we wait in the car and it’s so poetic that I exchange sly smiles with the universe; good one there. Sometimes the things we deserve do come to pass, if we wait long enough, if we trudge through the slushy sidewalks until we hit dry concrete, if we keep on walking long after our shoes are soaked through and our feet frozen.
The drive downtown is peppered with explosions. Fireworks fly dazzling into the sky, showering the city with celebration, with good intentions. A new year. Our phones chime and our text messages get clogged in the country’s collective push to wish each other well. I lose service and stow my phone away in my purse, it’s enough just to live it. To send my thoughts to the sky trailing the brilliant sparks of so many others. I love you, thank you for being here.
It takes a while for the bar to fill up and I hardly notice when it does. I am lost in the good will and the refilling drinks. A girl in a pink tutu finds us on the dance floor. I’m intimidated by the way her eyes claim mine, her big white boots and the glitter in her hair. There are lights in the air, hovering. There are music notes climbing to the rafters. I am moving, moving, moving, afraid to stop for a moment and examine myself. That I could be so assuredly not who I am. That I could live this pretend life like it was real flesh and blood and not just words reaching up and out and all around.
I turn away from the men that have the nerve to approach me. I skip behind dancers and let my friends do the dirty work, the ‘take a hikes’ and ‘she’s not interested’. With each drink I am more at home in my body, I stretch my fingers open and closed, I marvel at the extension of a limb like I’ve just learned to walk. The night drags on and soon we disperse. One friend to the night, the other two in a cab to a warm bed and sweet pillow talk. I stay. I find my brother and he tells me about a girl he loves and wants to buy a ring for and then leaves with someone else. I lean against the wall watching the dance floor. The pink tutu girl has found a friend, it takes me a moment but I realize they have exchanged clothes. Her little white tank top stretches over the other girl’s curves, wondering why it no longer fits. Her pink tutu sags limp and disappointed on the new frame. The black dress she is wearing fails to capture the pounding life inside her, it longs for colour, for vibrancy. They run to the bathroom, hand in hand, and I follow. Just in time to watch them disappear into a stall together. I watch their feet at the bottom, in between each other, glued to the floor. A shirt comes off. The pink tutu and the black dress. I imagine hands in hair and soft lips finding each other in a quiet stillness formed by eyes and moments and life. The chattering of the bathroom diminishing to a low hum. I wash my hands and leave.
Back against the wall. Always against the wall. Always on the sidelines. I find myself yearning for something new. The desire to strip off this life and exchange it in a bathroom with a stranger. To wear my heart so ostentatiously. To be the girl in the pink tutu. Maybe her life is a mask, too. Maybe we are all just looking for someone to undress us.
I find a man in the crowd. Beautiful eyes. Chiseled jaw. Short hair. Tall. I watch him until he turns around looking for the source of my gaze. I draw him to me without words or gestures, with my eyes. He takes slow, unsure steps until he finds himself in front of me looking down, perplexed. He leans in to ask me something, my name perhaps, but my lips have already silenced him. Then it is my own dance of hands behind heads and hips meeting and merging. Pounding music. We are anonymous.
Not quite a pink tutu. But, it’s the first of January now. An entire year stretches out in front of us. All the places we could go; all the people I could be.