This is not my first NYE alone and it won’t be my last.

However, I feel better about it when I recognize the reality of my surroundings: this day isn’t a forced ending, it’s a cliffhanger at best, a paragraph return at worst.

We like dates, we like time signatures, don’t we? 30 Days hath September… Take 5, 9/11, Date that will live in infamy, Remember, remember, the 5th of November,4 more years, 4 more beers, silver, gold, platinum anniversaries.

I myself am a fan of birthdays. Every birthday, though, not just the ones Patton Oswalt thinks should matter. I think there’s a little more oomph there; something actually did happen on that date for someone. Still, those events aren’t celebratory for some people.

Just like NYE isn’t celebratory, per se.

This is, for the first time in a long while, the first year I can think of where NYE has been more difficult for many of my friends than Christmas is. And Christmas can be very hard on people.

Which is why I don’t like insisting on a celebration. If you want to have one, power to you! Let’s celebrate.

But maybe it’s just a day for you, maybe you’re hurting or suffering in a way that make celebrations cause you pain.

Well, Fuck That, I say.

Let’s come together. Let’s just enjoy our company and have celebrations because we can hang out. Maybe those celebrations are bigger, like you’re getting married. Maybe they’re smaller, like you just got a kiss. But they don’t need a date or a time. They just need a decision: You, please join me, and let’s have a rejoice, however large or small that is.

Maybe those celebrations are sad. Hey you, join me, we need a hug or a cry. That can be big, because someone has left you, or small, because you got rejected. Let’s bask in our own warming glows, because that’s what we have. Let’s pillowfort, if that’s what you need.

They can be loud or quiet. They can be inclusive or private.

Notice, none of those things need a date. They just need people.

I hope you have people.

Maybe you don’t. I sympathize, because at the moment I don’t have people either.

I’m alone tonight but it doesn’t matter because tonight isn’t a celebration of joy or sorrow. It’s just a day, a day I get to come out, have a nice Baerlic IPA, watch people enjoy themselves and write. It’s a day where I reflect on being alone and grit my teeth against the northeastern winds as I make my way home.

But I don’t think about 2015 en toto. That’s too much weight for a year that took me to NYC and Las Vegas, that brought me friends from Canada, California, and Minneapolis, that asked me questions I could not answer and that left me as a man on a raft in the Pacific, with water and food but no rudder or compass. Too many chapters that opened and closed on their own for me to force the book shut just because today is December 31.

Why not January 1? Why not March 22? Why not August 8?

Why not celebrate today? Why not dance to the new song when the old one is over? Or rest between acts? The only rules here are the ones we agree on.

My beer is getting low and the bar is getting crowded. It is getting close to time to go home. The wind will bite at my face and I’ll walk by someone singing “Ain’t No Sunshine” on the way and if I have it in me, I’ll swing by NWIPA to pick up a special beer to sip on for the new year, if I’m awake. Or I’ll set it aside and have it some other time, when a celebration nuzzles my arm.

Note from the future: Got the Elysian ‘The Fix’ coffee stout and it is good. Really good. I’ll see you tomorow.

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