After surviving two separate train rides north, traveling three hours through snow and chilled air, the filmmaker and I celebrated the transition to the New Year up in the Berkshires with a group of my closest friends. We have all celebrated the past three years, at least. Amidst the almost ritualistic tradition of merry-making as the dawn of another new year encroached, guzzling rich red wines, mixing cocktails, gorging on local meats and vegetables and cheeses, in our party dresses and our red lips, I could not avoid reflecting on being surrounded by those so dear, so wonderful. Such excesses in sentimentality, surely, can be forgiven during this time of commercially constructed, and chronologically convenient, rebirth. Most in our party I have known, now, nearly eight years, my entire adult life, significant in terms of actual quantity, as well as with regard to corresponding to years of the most critical neuronal and emotional network formations. Although inevitable circumstances of reality, jobs, careers, advanced schooling, family, relationships, geography, have altered the frequency we see one another, little else has changed. Together, we tell stories, we laugh, we dance, we cry, we eat. And we drink. Having met one another at various social events, from the fun to the ridiculous to the utterly absurd, drinking together has been a seeming constant. As we age, and make more money, though, it has been a welcome evolution that our palettes and expectations refine, and our choice of libation reflects this.
I can remember, not too many years ago, a wide-eyed and mildly foolish sophomore, concocting disgustingly sweet and potent green gelatinous vodka shots with this very group of friends, shoveling packets of sugary food dye gelatin and something resembling alcohol only in odor and effect into plastic cups. While that night of tomfoolery leaves me still here fondly waxing nostalgic, the morning after is equally vivid, gruesome in the grotesque manner in which my body exiled all cheap and foreign particles from my stomach. The other night, we abstained from all liquors banished to the bottom shelves, deigned only South American reds, Italian proseccos worthy of our tongues. At the stroke of midnight, we clinked glasses, veritable glass, actual polished sand that would shatter if broken, carelessly dropped, passionately thrown. Naturally, we were still quite silly, a bit tipsy and excessive, still laughing and flailing our limps wildly to loud tunes, but successfully dodged the haunting, harrowing hangover, that monstrous ill, taunting your vices, which only grows stronger and more wily as age creeps on. Fresh and all rather chipper, considering the holiday, we prepared breakfast as a family, at least a family of friends, familiar and intimate, eating and joking around the table in one large circle.
(image taken from Retronaut)