At exactly the moment when 2008 turned to 2009, I was in a NYC subway train headed towards Penn Station. My friend and I were running way behind schedule for our plans to get to Times Square to find out for ourselves what's so special about a lighted ball dropping a few feet. Our co-passengers in that carriage were lost in sombre thoughts with likewise expressions on their faces. Much as we wanted to spread the joy around, we found that we weren't quite up to the task. There was a cop in our carriage as was in all the others and on the streets above just to ensure that the New Year revelry didn't get too boisterous on the unsuspecting. Anyway as it turned out, the cop would've had to pull out a gun to force our fellow riders to celebrate. We quietly shook hands amongst ourselves and that was that for our New Year celebrations.
As per the popular notion, it seems that I will be spending the remainder of 2009 riding underground trains or at least being underground since I'd entered into the year that way. But if that were true then it's nothing compared to the deal the folks having a ruddy good time up in the streets were getting. They'd have a year of killer hangovers and regret filled late work days ahead of them. Luckily for them and for us, and also for our unenthusiastic brethren on the train, the 1st of January is just an overhyped media monster. Some of us willingly buy into the hype and others look at it with biting disdain. It doesn't really matter where you are or what you are doing at the very second when the clock strikes twelve or so I think. It's still the same 365 days that lie ahead for you to pull up your socks, and to castigate yourself for not doing so during the earlier 365. Or be like me and poke fun at those who make a big deal of the 1st of January while actually a teeny-weeny bit distressed inside at being a ship without a functional compass.