Mayang (Mrs. Thompson) made her New Years Journey around the corner to her mother’s house a long hard five minutes away. This is a ritual we have observed for a couple of decades. Since I receive no joy from New Years Eve, and for the most part never had, even back to my youth. I remain sober at our house with the dog army, protecting them from stray pyrotechnics.
One of the worst New Years I remember was in 1963 (Yes I was a minor, well below the legal age to drink) there was a blizzard (Nor’easter) raging and only John C. and John D. Gleason (Not related but friends) and I were hanging around on Adams Street in Dorchester where we were attempting to grow up. Bitter cold, but we each had a pint bottle of vodka, but no place warm to consume it. As we were about to abandon hanging out and chalk the night up in the loss column, it dawned on one of us that the China Sky restaurant was open until one and we had enough money for the large spear ribs but not for soda. But all the Chinese Tea we could drink. Vodka and hot tea, oh yum. And so my New Years Eve traditions were formed for the rest of my life.
A quitter I’m not, but I am wise enough not to beat a dead horse and keep trying. Meet me on a Tuesday morning and offer me an adult beverage and I’m your guy. But never on the ultimate amateur night I’m not your Huckleberry in that instant.
As stated, Mayang is gone until the morning, just me and the dogs, a cup of hot tea (NO VODKA) and we are on the roof patio watching life transpire all around us. Who so ever was renting the Karaoke machines that day was celebrating the end to a banner profit year. There are 360 degrees on the compass and I could hear a damnable singing machine at all points.
We were (The Dog’s and I) waiting for the pyrotechnics to begin, but then the Lord in his wisdom sent us rain, bountiful splashing rain, the fireworks were limited to breaks in the inclement weather. Whoa be onto them. But the volume on the karaoke more than made up for the loss of fireworks noise. Life is nothing if not a trade off. For every push there must be a pull. (That’s what it says on the store doors)
Albeit it was cool, I sealed my bedroom, invited my dogs to shelter in place with me and turned on the A/C and went to sleep. A passage of time and the dogs call to nature awoke me. It was 0500 AM still pitch black outside the rain was drizzling and the fog has set in and it was almost silent. The optimum word being “ALMOST’ the last standing drunk, who refuses to lay down his microphone, like a voice calling out in the wilderness, “I’m alive, I’m still here, and they finely let me sing!”
My heart and respect went out to him and I raised my coffee high (Under my umbrella) in a respectful salute to the man who outlasted all others. If only someone has shot off a few M-80’s as he reached the last notes of his lonely dirge. For alas soon the children of our mountain home will arise and it will be their turn on the damnable singing machine and my lone soloist will be but a memory in the fog of the morning. We must bid an adieu to our lonely crooning Pinoy and wish him a wonderful New Year both for him and his outrageous hangover.
I can only compare it to setting sail out of San Francisco Bay, and as we passed through the fog under the Golden Gate Bridge our ships Master would play over the 1MC (Ship’s PA system) Into The Mystic by Van Morrison (Due to copyright infringement we are not allowed to add it to my article) But nothing can stop you from going to You-Tube and playing it while you’re reading this.
I’ll bet you thought I’d say Frank Sinatra – Strangers In The Night, didn’t you?