Leaving the Old . . . Into the New


It was the best of times; the cold winter of December. 31st night.

My friend and I rode the subway train to the city. We were going to watch the ball drop. Of course, we weren’t alone. Half the city was awake. They too wanted to watch the ball drop into the New Year.

It was a cold night. Huddled in my jacket, my fingers numb inside my leather gloves. Vapour escaped my lips whenever I spoke. My friend led the way. At night time, I hardly recognize familiar streets. Plus there was a crowd pushing along with us as we marched toward Times Square. Revelry filled the air. People poised for photos here and there . . .

Who would have thought for the first time in my life, I’d be seeing the end of a year and the beginning of another in a foreign country. I was still a stranger. My eyes soaked up the sight of everything I passed and yet it wasn’t enough. I wanted to sing, to join the crowd in revelry. I wanted to write something about the moment. Stupid of me yo have forgotten to bring a pen.

I wanted to fall in love. Right there as my friend and I transverse 7th Avenue. If only I had a female beside me, I probably would. But the cold . . . The cold was biting. Me, a son from the Sahara of Africa. I missed the heat. And yet I was happy. I felt great being here in a foreign country. In a bustling city, surrounded by people I hardly knew yet wish I did.

It felt so good leaving the old year behind.


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