Arkady’s New Year’s Eve in Williamsburg.
Speaking of el crème de Bailey’s, Ambien, flasks of whiskey, Daft Punk, and a hornet’s nest, I went to this sardine tin called a New Year’s Eve soiree this past Wednesday that took me back to my wee infant party days of 2001.
Nursing a sinus infection and the makings of a hangover, I stumbled into this demilitarized two-story apartment that was decorated with what most people would describe as a tetanus infection. Arriving fifteen minutes till….
midnight, I figured that my three friends and I would be showing up just in time for the anything goes stroke-of-midnight-dance-party with a bevy of Brooklyn’s choicest youths.
But what happened at the stroke of twelve?
The spotting of two ex girlfriends, a fight in the coat-check room, and a whole bunch of guys looking daggers at me who apparently get really pissed when you swipe beer out of their fridge. Oddly enough, it felt comfortably familiar.
But I was resilient, and in the process of feeling all college-sophomore-lecherous, I started making out with the kind of girl my pals and I describe as a hornet, when Daft Punk’s “One More Time” starts blaring out of the PA and confetti and balloons pour down on us. In between maulings, I peered around the crowd witnessing lascivious high-fiving and beleaguered fondling. So I wondered: Why is everyone generally mischievous in the same way? And why do we repeat misgivings so willingly at the drop of a ball?
Throughout my existential daydream I managed to lose track of my three friends, my champagne, and my party favors, so I told my hornet, “I’m going to buy some Andre at the bodega. I’ll be right back.”
I went meandering around this shoebox looking for my friends until I finally gave up. I swiped some more beer from the fridge and set out to solve the mystery of why we all come to essentially the same party every year and act out in a most predictable fashion. Let’s meet the guests:
SCV: Why are you here?
Jerry Alcoholic: To fuckin’ hang out man it’s 2009!! Wooooo!!! (He raised his beer and whirled it around, spilling half on me and the other half on an extremely sober and now angry girl to his left).
What are you doing after this?
I’m going to Macri and getting wasted for Obama in ’09!!
That can’t be good…
I walked into a room that had a sign on the door reading “Do Not Enter,” and found two guys playing Bright Eyes songs on a guitar and a cello.
SCV: So guys, Conor Oberst eh?
Guitar Guy: Fuck yeah man, fuckin’ Bright Eyes was the jam!
Isn’t the key word in that WAS?
Cello Guy: I don’t know how, but I’ve been wailing on this cello all night!
Jesus Christ, is there a place in this house that isn’t living in 2001?
GG: What? It’s 2009 man. Happy New Year!
Where can I find more beer?
GG: Want some of this one? (Trying to hand me a beer).
I left the forbidden room of musical nostalgia and headed for the kitchen. I ran into a girl giving out Ambien in the hallway, said “Sure, thanks,” and continued into the kitchen. My ex girlfriend from college had beaten me to the punch and was cracking open the last Stella from the fridge.
Arkady: Remember 2001 when we used to live together?
EX: Yeah you always left the kitchen cabinet doors open… that sucked.
Yeah, but doesn’t this whole thing kind of remind you of when we were 19?
Actually yeah, did you see those two guys playing bright eyes in the back? Where’d you get that Ambien?
Yeah that’s bullshit. I could’ve gone my whole life without hearing another Bright Eyes song, but those two d-bags went and ruined it.
(Laughing) Seriously… Really though, where’s the Ambien?
Oh there’s a girl in the hallway…
I’ll be right back. And there’s another beer in the fridge behind the expired milk.
I waited a few minutes in the kitchen until I knew she wasn’t coming back, the Ambien was taking effect and I didn’t want to pass out in this dungeon, so I went to the coat check to get my coat and leave.
SCV: I have a black pea coat in the middle of the left rack.
Coat Check Guy: Is this it?
No. It’s black.
What about this?
Do you guys have any system back here whatsoever?
You’re the one who gave us your coat.
It’s a coat check.
Here. Is this it?
When I got out onto the street I didn’t feel any closer to answering my question than I did when I started. I suppose that the reality is that when you’re drunk, living in a recession economy, and surrounded by the slogans of change, there’s a certain propensity to find comfort in the familiar; whether that familiarity is a nostalgic song, an ex girlfriend, or the same party, we all are ultimately scared of our lives changing, no matter how seemingly necessary that change may be.
In light of this, my New Year’s resolutions are: Pop open a cold beer, catch up with a lost friend, re-read Narcissus and Goldmund, put on some Daft Punk, and brace for Obama.