In response to the Daily Post: Stroke of Midnight
Where were you last night at midnight? Would you have wanted to be somewhere else?
My partner and I took the train 2 hours to arrive in Melbourne city. I’ve never seen Flinders Street so packed. I waited for him outside the bathroom. A man in a black tank top, baring his tattooed “muscly” arms stood in front of me flexing, staring off into what appeared to be nothing. Maybe he was contemplating my conundrum of the long line for the women’s room. Maybe not.
I’ve lived in cities, but diversity was never their strong suit. The Northeast, California, the Pacific Northwest. I’ve never seen diversity like I do in Melbourne. Many of the voices I heard were speaking a language foreign to me. After a little exploring we found a hidden gem; there was a bathroom in the back of a shopping center with hardly anyone. Exploring paid off.
Sitting there, feet dangling over the Yarra River, long boats full of people cheering passing by I whispered my first word of the new year as fireworks exploded atop 8 nearby buildings in unison: laugh. 12 minutes after the fireworks began they were over. To this I had to laugh. Best show of the year, the newspapers had proclaimed. There’s a reason I don’t read the Herald Sun.
Holding hands more out of necessity than anything else we made our way back towards the train line. The last time my partner had come to these fireworks he had been 13, with his folks, and had witnessed a man atop a 15 meter light pole jump off into the Yarra. He was high as a kite and was most likely one of the people reported dead the next day. 16 hours after seeing that first firework I painstakingly sat through commercial after commercial to watch the countdown and festivities near my old stomping ground, New York. Sponsored by MasterCard, my new year had officially begun.