New Years Eve is lonely. It's like the world is throwing a party for a promotion I didn't end up getting, but I blow my noisemaker and raise my glass so as not to ruin the celebratory mood.
As I am herded tonight from dinner to party to street I scan the masses for eyes that might hook into mine for a deep, hungry, stranger soul kiss. The same four people seem to pass by over and over again.
Suddenly, the sky starts to explode and in thousands we sprint frantically to the water's edge. I stare at my blurry feet and half expect my neighbor to blow apart in pieces at any moment while my fellow Americans play happy color games with gunpowder.
"Daddy", she implores, tugging at my hand, "lift me up!" Through the pulse of her tiny legs around my neck I experience her wonder, fear, and confusion over orange and purple flowers that are born to instant death, over and again, where the clouds used to be. Oh, dear one, what I wouldn't give for you to know my story and to never hear it too.
New Year's Eve is sobering. That song, whose lyrics don't match its heart wrentching sound, is the perfect anthem. And as it plays, my soul leaves the little girl and mingles in the dark with this community of strangers to which it will never truly belong.