Day 41: burn up the new year part one

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

December 31, 2001

Walking in Olaya with my lunatic friend Jess two weeks ago, the idea of exploring the theme of taking in 2002 and making it the best year of our lives crept up in our sleeves like snake. We were really just buying take out dinner as there was nothing I can think about but food at the time that I almost swallowed the entire city, famished as I was. But then my thoughts of the new year and Jess’ psychoses was just in time as he played with the idea of changing and seeing himself a better and a happier . . . looney.   I could have tossed it all away but after a while I got sucked with the word resolution and allowed myself to be glued with it anyway.  Change is good.  And scary.

It has been raining in Riyadh for the past four days. It was beautiful and friendly. The city looked like a wet diaper. Beautiful indeed! It brought me back to Manila last July when I walked and danced in the rain oblivious of the jeepney drivers who wanted to strangle me right there and then. I was then with my couple friends, James and Jun. It would’ve been a normal enchantment to me but to them it was ever so flamboyant. I was like a baby and the rain was a new experience. Well, prosecute me for not seeing a damp day in years living in Saudi Arabia I just had to feast. Like now . . . the gray condoned beneficial for dolorous devils like me. I even told my best friend Norman that since the city’s moisture attack, I was hoping we wouldn’t be drenched the whole year through. But who knows? It works fine for me no matter how cruel it is to wedge my sleeping graveyards and paw what’s underneath my mattress in times of jocularity and self-denials.  Let’s face it, with the New Year hype and the promise of the year 2002,  I’m sure most of us wanted to change this and change that.  But is there anything in life anyway than improvement?  Is it essential to list resolutions every year?  That to bring forth the mistakes and oil them is wise but are we sure that these are really mistakes or errors?  What is a mistake.  An error?

I ate my noodles and watched Lord of the Rings.

Dubai, The United Arab Emirates

December 31, 2009

We were at Jules Bar at the fabulous Le Meridien Deira for the New Year’s Eve party.  Apparently that’s where Norman, Alex and I went because it was the nearest from our place and the least jam-packed New Year’s Eve party venue anyone from Dubai can attend to without the massive $100 entrance fees and without being massacred by the plastered alcoholic community of the city that went to the bigger venues to experience the countdown frenzy.   Everything at JB was purple and silver and everybody shone.  I was a bit mesmerized by the overhead balloons that covered the entire ceiling of the club half hoping there were no liquid bombs stashed there somewhere.  This brought to mind the Sidney Sheldon novel Windmills of the Gods.  It would have been a peachy way to die.

Dinner were club sandwiches and fish and chips.  A contoured symbolism of light eating that should take over in 2010.  Well, at least to three of us, who all went on a gorge fest in the year that was.  Especially me who went from size medium to maternity section halfway through the year.

We were all missing my sister Dess who was in Russia at the time for work.  We sent SMS messages to her as she sipped her wine inside the hotel that she was staying in, feeling suicidal I presumed.  Norman, in bloom with what’s around him, recalled the last New Year that we were together and that was in 20o2, back in Saudi Arabia, with Jess.  I tried going back in time but have forgotten most it.  I remembered being in the carpet, eating wanton and watching a pirated Lord of the Rings:  The Two Towers.  Other than that, it was a blur.  Alexandre wished that he was with his beloved, Dess, and started booming the horns in between spoonfuls of fish to welcome the year that will make us all, even if not together as a family, offsprings of good luck and paradigms of beauty.

At 9 something PM, we started dancing to the 80s music, Oh Mickey you’re so fine, you’re so fine you blow my mind hey Mickey! , that I found entertaining but at the back of my mind, also found disrupting.  If this is how I am going to meet the new year, 80s music, boozed, dancing mindlessly and roving my eyes to possible candidates of love among the club people then 2010 would turn out to be just another 2002.  With Chinese food and DVD.  All the same dizzying with thoughts of resolution that dissolves into the cold air after January 2.

I thought about burning up like I did back then.  I thought about The Crush and his woozy smile.  I thought about me asking questions.  I saw me dancing.  I saw me jumping.

Moscow, Russia

December 31, 2009

Dess Verzosa was arrested with the fact she will be spending a new year’s eve alone for the first time in 26 years.  After an inspirited flight from Dubai to Moscow, she quickly changed to see the fireworks from anywhere she can find one.  She has found peace in her solitude after relishing the fact that she missed her family in Dubai and in the Philippines.  Most of all, from being away from Alexandre, who kept on sending her text messages from Dubai, as he was celebrating his New Year’s with her brother Jon and Jon’s best friend Norman at Jules Bar.

Dess, in her ambient spirit, called her colleagues for a toast.  She was already set to grab something in the city, have wine and rock the night away.  A friend invited her to check out Red Square in the city proper but she declined knowing how psychotic it can get there, especially at this time of the year.  She planned to set up a mini-party in a bar somewhere in Moscow’s vodka-induced populace.  She rang about four of her colleagues.  All of them wanted to sleep.

Upset with the flow of negativity of her surroundings, the silent celebration of Russia and the negative 20 weather, Dess clasped her gloved hand, ordered wine, looked out her frozen window and got invited to walk.  By her own parallel universe.  She rubbed her cheeks, drank her wine and stormed out of the hotel into the blizzard telling herself,  “This is not how it is meant to be ! ” , hoping she was in Dubai (where everyone is celebrating with a bang! but partly excited to get to know this old country on her own.

Outdared by her emotions, Dess did not ask herself questions.  She stepped into the vapor of whiteness and heard the snow tenderly broke its sturdy silence upon her leather boots.  She remembered how her beloved Alexandre would tell her about the sound of snow on your shoes back in France.  She smiled, whispered, “I love you, baby.”  and walked animately to the streets of Moscow knowing that she did not need company after all.  She had herself.


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