We are all now living in the year 2012. The temperature has finally dropped to something that feels like winter. There are gray and purple clouds outside my window, dusk setting in. I am sitting on the warm side of these windows, my heater perhaps on too high.
New Year's Eve was what it always tends to be, a night that causes undue anxiety as one tries to make plans that seem, according to whatever arbitrary criteria we assign to these things, cool or special enough. Then there is running from place to place, chasing something, a dream of what New Year's Eve should be, a feeling that if we could somehow make the night perfect, we were capable of making the year perfect, life also. Jacob and I went to the Spectrum, which was just starting up when we got there, a high school dance, everyone standing along the walls. We left and walked to Metropolitan, wanting to ring in the new year there. People counted down from 5, voices were raised, life in its yearly increments was toasted, and people kissed. I kissed Jacob. We went back to the Spectrum and then found our way to Eastern Bloc. We came home at a decent hour and I was quite drunk. We stopped at the deli near our house for drunken sandwiches. I had my hopes set on a Philly cheesesteak the whole train ride home, talked about how I could not wait to eat one. At the deli, the sandwich guy told me that the grill was off and that he couldn't make me one. I was more upset by this than I should have been, but again, it was New Year's; everything took on the status of either a metaphor or a harbinger of things to come. That I could not have the sandwich I wanted seemed a very ominous sign.
I ordered a roast beef sandwich and it was quite delicious. Anything would have been in this state.
New Year's Day, Jacob's birthday, we went to Tandem and had a lovely brunch, their food way better than it has any need to be, their cocktails also quite excellent, Bloody Mary's made with beet-infused vodka. We had tried going to Northeast Kingdom but the wait was going to be insane there and the hostess was not at all welcoming, so we walked over to Tandem, which I had never been to for brunch. And just as with the Philly cheesesteak, I didn't get the thing I thought I wanted and could have read that as a sign, but I ended up some place I liked even better, some place that played great music and had a friendly server and had some of the better brunch food I have had in quite a while. It was an excellent start to 2012. From there, we went to the Empire State Building and looked out over this city, our home. It was really beautiful. The view from up there is breathtaking. The city is a beautiful thing and you see a map of your dreams. It takes on that mythic shape it had in your fantasies when you were thinking about moving here and you look and point to places you recognize, buildings that you have lived in, worked in, admired, walked past, seen in movies, and on the backs of your eyelids deep in sleep.
We came home after and ordered Mexican food and got high and I probably fell asleep at about eight o'clock, totally tuckered out still from having drank so much on New Year's Eve.
To make up for sleeping through Jacob's birthday evening, I took him out to eat last evening at Torrisi Italian Specialties. It was a beautiful experience. The music was lovely, the staff very friendly, and the food and wine really fucking good. The meal opened with warm mozzarella and garlic bread, both fantastic. There were some excellent antipasti dishes, a pasta dish, a meat entree, and dessert. There wasn't a missed note in the whole evening. I have a feeling it's going to be a meal I remember, something I come back to again and again. I spent most of today thinking back to the things I ate, trying to hold on to memories. Our senses experience these things and then our flimsy little minds do the best they can to sustain that pleasure in another realm outside of that particular sense. Touching another boy's skin and the recollection of that are two different pleasures, but there is some overlap somewhere, and an erotic joy can be had with a little mental effort. Eating food, the sensation of taste, and the recollection of that taste again are two different things. I have some leftover champagne from New Year's and am drinking it now, prolonging something, and listening to Nick Drake sing things that pull me backwards into years gone by, people no longer in my life, towns and houses I moved away from a long time ago. He is singing, saying:
"When I was young, younger than before
I never saw the truth hanging from the door
And now I’m older, see it face to face
And now I’m older, gotta get up, clean the place."