Sunday, January 1, 2012

Le New Year's de Eve, a la 2011

Saying goodnight to a friend, after a some mixed games of League, he asks “what are you doing for New Year’s”. Oh shit “when is that?”. “Today for me (he’s on the East Coast), few hours for you”. “Oh shit… I guess I have no plans. Shit snuck up on me”.

We jump ahead to New Year’s Eve afternoon. Checking out, perhaps the best tool I’ve come across, A Millions Things To Do In Seattle. Top of the list is an underground tour that culminates with a champagne toast. Sounds enchanting. Sold Out. Natch. So I stop thinking about New Year’s Eve.

11:30 hits and I beat myself into thinking that beginning the New Year in my apartment will cause untold levels of anguish for the present and a heavy curse to carry forward. The Space Needle has fireworks… I’ve seen fireworks… I don’t feel like driving anywhere… Compromising, I’ll go to this park nearby. I get a good view of the Space Needle everyday going across I-5 on my way to work. Gotta be a good view there. But the thing is I get lost even when I have a GPS. So cue that. I go from heading towards Gas Works Park to barreling into downtown. Having no idea where I am, GPS (still locked in to getting me to the Park) is at a complete loss for what to do. ‘Next Two Exists Seattle Center’. Lovely. Let’s try that. I must have used all my remaining luck for the year because I start climbing a beautifully hill in a residential area. SWEET! Parking is sure to be near. Every street is packed. I dodge a wild firework display by going left on a round-a-bout, nearly hit someone coming up another hill. Luck has me move on.

I can see that there isn’t going to be parking anywhere near. The Space Needle feels like it’s 100 feet from me. This is a Spot. People know about this place and they’ve been here for hours. Oh look! A beautiful house. I mean, two car garage, three giant, damn near floor to ceiling windows for their living room. Let’s just turn off the lights… Pull in… I’m just fixing my GPS if anybody comes out in the next few seconds. Tuck the GPS under the seat so no light escapes… Lock the door, hurry! Oops, double hit the lock button and the car beeps. FUCK. Nobody? Cool. Good. Jog across the - what!? Yelling… At me? I walk back. Listen… Just revelry. WHEW! Look at this nice little group of people camped out on this nice little shelf with a perfect view of the Space Needle. I mean it’s like back row center at the theater. You can’t do better. There’s a bench. Of course there’s a bench. Pull out of the phone. I got this one just because it’s good at taking pictures and movies (quality is ok). The flash could probably be seen from the top of the Space Needle and I’m in North Queen Anne. The two test shots I took of myself, no doubt, lowered my eyesight score by a few points. The thing is a weapon. I arrive right on effing time. Luck.

They light the Needle on fire. The whole time I’m watching this I’m imagining what it could be like inside. The $250 for dinner for the night is probably well worth the money. There is no warm up, lights just start blasting. Streamers get launched from the base in a spiral upwards, exploding at observation level. More are let loose from the top, like rotating cannons hammering this ethereal “Year”, creating a cloud above the Christmas tree of lights at the top of the Needle that I took for my own tree this year. Little bombs are fired around and around from the top, circling the tower, pounding the air and I again wish like hell I was inside, feeling those suckers rattle the glass.

The finale sheaths the tower in light. A beacon for the new year maybe. A projection of some inner Seattle qualities could be. Making a new tower. A magical construct over reality. The observation deck has been completely lit and I just laugh. It’s gotta be something else inside if they can see anything at all. Surprise! Every strut and surface has its own golden ray to shoot out, enhancing every detail of the towers structure. Cooled off, the tower appears new to me. Like it jettisoned a skin. It appears the gleaming beacon in the night. Fresh. Probably cleaner. There is new energy cascading over the city, released in pulses from this tower. It stands ready to represent something else for me this year.

The ride home. Mercer is merciless, murderous. There is no changing lanes. I hope I’m in the right one but it’s ok if I’m not. Half a tank of gas to play with. I’ll cruise around my city for a bit, where ever it’d like to take me. But I find myself in the right position to get on I-5 North for an easy trip home. Have to be careful of the people taking over the roads. Some using this special time to stop traffic for just the right picture. Back in Queen Anne I saw a couch in one of the round-a-bouts. Optimized comfort and view of the Space Needle. They’re doing it right.

Home I find a party raging in of the downstairs apartments. Someone has run off and several people frantically search for her using only their phones. Some app in all likelyhood. A loud argument and I laugh that college kids are the same everywhere. And they don’t let celebrations get in the way of their shallow tiffs. The world’s a stage for them. Cute girls dressed like trash.
1:20 now and I’m tired. The party has politely only gotten loud for the few minutes after midnight. I can hear the faucet and toilet of the upstairs unit. Preparations for bed. I’m going to finish my tea, get one last game of League in, then call it a wonderful night.

Blogger (Blogspot last I knew) doesn't like my longer video. Youtube for that.