I was doing ok til everyone left.
Not that they should have stayed. They would have left at some point.
Just me and the dog and she just won’t settle down.
She keeps jumping up.
I’m no sure what she wants. I let her out. I let her in. She paces. I let her out again.
Finally, I’ve had enough. I sit down to watch TV for a while and wait til midnight. Wait til 2017.
There’s a horrible crash and the dog is running around with something in her mouth. I pull the dog treats from her mouth and see that she’s pushed two serving dishes off the buffet in order to get to the treats.
I push her out so she doesn’t cut herself.
I get a broom and a dust pan. It’s 1120. I’ve washed all of the dishes, scrubbed the pans, and now I’m sweeping up broken china.
It’s not the New Year’s Eve I imagined.
It was pretty good til everyone left. But at some point they would have left and I’d still be here. Alone in the house on New Year’s Eve or early New Year’s Day.
I saw in so many New Year’s with Kimmy.
We looked forward to another year together doing fun things, silly things, serious things – just things.
I finish sweeping up and take the bag full of broken plates out to the trash cans in the garage so the dog doesn’t hurt herself digging around in the kitchen trash can.
No sense in yelling at her. She’s moved on.
I check Facebook.
I don’t know why. But I do.
My friend Monika posts, “Another New Year’s Eve without Chuckie. I thought it would get easier, but I was wrong…”
It’s not what I want to hear. Monika is a year ahead of me with loss.
I check the page of one of Kim’s friends. She more years ahead of me and has posted a picture of herself and two friends out having a good time.
Maybe Monika and I are that many years away.
I don’t know.
I never minded not going out.
When I used to work in radio I had to go out most New Year’s Eves. It was a working night.
For so many years I’ve been happy to spend the night home with Kim and another couple.
They came over tonight. Except for the Buckeye’s loss, the night was great as always. There’s nothing like old friends.
But eventually, they were going to have to leave.
For the last twenty some years, we’d say goodnight to them, then Kim and I would go upstairs to bed.
Oh look – it’s midnight right … now.
I didn’t expect it to matter. New Year’s Eve has never really mattered to me.
I’ve been alone on New Year’s Eve before – but it was different.
This year’s alone feels alone.
I hear fireworks and gun shots and it’s now 2017.
My first date with Kim was twenty-five years ago this month. I think I was already looking forward to it on that New Year’s Eve.
This is the first New Year’s Eve in a quarter of a century where Kim is no where in my future.
I’m not real happy about that.
I’m heading up to bed.
The dog looks up at me.
“Come on,” I say to her, “Happy New Year Annabelle.”