The plan is to stop making NYE plans. Every time I have tried to orchestrate something beyond “go to work and then get misty-eyed in the car later when the clock turns midnight and you’re on your way home to an empty apartment/house,” it has failed with such spectacularity that I’m sure some day I will be able to laugh about my foolishness over this manufactured night of revelry. Right?
2009, the plan: Drive up to Chicago with Sig to meet up with Patrick for Girl Talk at Congress Theater. Dance my ass off and let the sweat wash the grit of an iffy year off my body and mind. Crash at 4 a.m. with a smile on my face and a good feeling about the coming year.
2009, the reality: Late start. Sub-zero temperatures. Cab barf (not mine, thankfully). Tipping extra. Strangers. Nearly dying in a mad crush of women in the bathroom like it was Walmart the day after Thanksgiving. Losing everyone I knew. Watching the room erupt in joy as midnight chimed. Trying and failing to hold it together. Wanting to roll back the clock and start over. Walking out while the show still raged on and trying to hail a cab while drunk and shivering. Watching cab after cab, full, pass by. Sitting and waiting. Waiting and waiting and waiting and walking and riding and finally sleeping while everyone else stayed up all night.
New Year’s Eve, you are such an elusive and usually pointless bitch to please.
Anyway. Chicago was interesting. I am conflicted about it but the one thing I can say without reservation is that it was cold. Gut-blastingly cold. It’s cold here in Memphis now, yes GOD YES, but I’m talking single-digit lake-effect chicanery up there. Cold that will slice your face open. Cold that will make your lungs ache in fear of instant death. Cold that will make your leg hair grow. But, oddly, it’s cold that I can handle, given the right equipment (two layers of gloves, some wool, and fuzzy boots). I made it my mission to see what I could see despite Jack Frost raspberrying on my face and I saw quite a bit. I owe Patty O’Pinions for that, really. He’s a gracious host. And I had a sweet place just off Michigan to call my temporary home thanks to Sig’s old/ my new pal Zachary. It’s good to know people. I’m grateful for people, even if people (such as the wasted, barely-clothed lady who came INTO THE BATHROOM WITH ME at a restaurant and saw my horror and said, “Don’t worry! I won’t watch!” before I slipped out and let her do her business while I pissed in the men’s room) can suck real hard sometimes.
So thanks for the memories, Chicago. Your women should invest in pants but you’re really onto something with that deep dish pizza you’ve got. Got-damn!
More Chicago photos are here, but you’re going to want to put a coat on before you look at them.