Last night, we pulled the hooters and funny hats out of the storage box, put them on and sang Auld Lang Syne. Hugs were doled out generously. Glasses and voices were lifted. New Year’s Rockin’ Eve had a communication breakdown – but the show never stopped.
Romances were born and dissolved – straight, gay and other. Parents and child were planning weddings, confirmations, bar/bat mitzvahs, and other rites of passage. The churches, synagogues, and mosques remained open for business.
Some folks got a little wild, maybe ended up in an emergency room, but had health care to cover the cost of recklessness. Somewhere else, a woman or perhaps a couple were making the heart-aching decision of whether or not to terminate a pregnancy. Hearts, hips and, heads even were being replaced. Genes were being manipulated and, it’s just possible, that we grew slightly closer to ending the scourges of cancer or diabetes or multiple sclerosis.
People were putting their heads together, thinking about turning an idea into a product, the product into a business. Other heads were reinventing the parceling of consumer loans into financial instruments to be sold and resold, hedged and insured; the defaults hedged and swapped and insured, and a pile of money will appear in one place while it disappears from another.
Students were heading back to school and, along with parents, worrying about college applications, the cost of tuition and books, and calculus and essays and personal achievements.
With us, too, were the sick, the homeless, the destitute, the disconsolate, for whom every day remains a challenge and for whom the numbers on the calendar hold no meaning. Each day is a battle for sanity and personal safety and integration. And they too have families to protect and provide for.
We rejoiced in birth, grieved in death and blessed our daily bread. We doled out intolerance and universal love to our fellow human beings, hoping that the party will go on.
Tuesday morning will come, and the world will suit up and show up, ready if not eager to press on into the artificial divide of 2017. We will be the same earnest, goofy, enterprising, struggling, wretched and euphoric people we have always been.
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