All the hullabaloo over one minute in time. All that chasing down the good party; the right place to be at the stroke of twelve. Down in Georgetown or up in Adams Morgan? Should we go to a bar? Or to that crazy group house party on T Street? Consequently, back in the day, I spent a lot of midnight moments stuck in a car on the way to somewhere else.
One year when I was in college, I gave up the hunt and made what I thought was a rather mature decision to stay home. I lived in a group house near the railroad tracks in College Park which we fondly referred to as "The Erskine Road Commune." We were a congenial bunch of university students, and we got along quite well despite our differences. Meat eaters co existed with vegetarians. Cairo the cat lived with Devo the dog. But for reasons I can't quite recall, our crew was evicted that December. We had all been hunting new digs and packing, but this seemed a rather low priority with the holidays upon us.
That New Year's eve I spent a pleasant anti climatic evening reading in bed under the covers. (We'd run out of oil again, and there was no heat.) All my other housemates were out and stayed gone most of the night. I found out the next day that one friend (I only knew as him as "Timmy the Chef") came over in the wee hours hoping to find a party still going on, but all was quiet. Tim, probably only momentarily disappointed, passed out in his coat in the front hall.
Sadly the peace did not last. A very angry man stepped over Timmy's prone form around 9 a.m. New Year's morning. Our landlord had arrived. He expected his house to be vacant. Really? On a holiday? What was he thinking?
We woke up Timmy, gathered the troops and went to Hojo's for breakfast. Then we staggered around calling friends to help with the move. My stuff went into storage in a house mate's parent's basement. Another friend coughed up an empty apartment- vacated until school resumed. Somehow working together, we were all gone by the end of the day. We would never be in one place again.
So this year I send out a happy new year to all my friends and readers sheltering in place tonight. And to my Erskine Road gang. You taught me a lot about getting along - even if it was short - it was memorable. Best wishes for 2014 wherever you are.
this posting dedicated to duane and cher, eel, rick and "the scourge"