December 31 — the last night of what had been a peculiar year, to say the least– I watched the hours and minutes run down with my typical celebration. A few hours earlier in the evening, I did what many a wishful thinker would, rushed out to the local convenience store and bought a lottery ticket. There had been cosmic signs all week prior about the appearance of a certain number that would be the key with my name on it to unlocking the million-dollar win. I did this despite a conversation with the Great Cosmic Voice that had told me earlier in the year I was free to buy lottery tickets for my own amusement but I wasn’t going to win. Yet, since a certain number kept appearing, it being the number nine, I decided that maybe there as a bit of a wobble in the space-time continuum that would let me slip through. Or maybe, I could cheat using clever insight. After all, the individual digits in the year 2016 add up to nine.
Anticipation of the result of my little amusement was more interesting to me than TV news flashes of mass midnight celebrations the world over, made effervescent by firework artistry. There was no need to keep watch for the clock rolling over to midnight with the usual 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 and musical break out of Auld Lang Syne. Like a World Cup soccer match, so many millions are fixed on a moment that you can feel when it happens without having to be tied to a television screen or radio. Instead, my media report had to be about whether or not those numbers sussed out from the ether would change my 2017.
At the stroke of midnight, with the sound of fireworks bursting somewhere in the neighbourhood, there online, appearing first, was the number nine. Nevertheless, all my other clever purmutations of the number failed to present themselves. I had so wanted to have something on the crest of this New Year to be my own version of effervescent fireworks. Instead, I felt deflated.
Checking social media moments later meant looking at short messages which, inbetween wishes for a ‘Happy New Year’, continue to ruminate over the strangeness of the electoral results in the U.S.
Although the sum total of my bubbly consumption on New Year’s Eve consisted of ginger ale thinned with club soda to mitigate the sweetness, I still woke on the first day of 2017 with a post New Year’s Eve hangover — the emotional kind.
Thankfully, January 1 was a sunny day in this region, which helped lessen the despair. The other hangover treatment that made a difference was to take a hot shower and thoroughly wash 2016 out of my hair.