Outside, it is New Year's Eve:
Fireworks, noisemakers, parties.
People await the magic moment.
Inside, I am outside time,
listening to the winter lights.
I am not at Pittsburgh's 2001 First Night,
wandering downtown, trying to choose
which performances interest me the most.
I am in Cincinnati. Mary's sister Eleanor
is working 11 to 7 at the hospital. Her son
just left for the airport. Suzanne
is at an all-night party with college friends.
Mary and I are here with Eleanor's husband.
Kurt doesn't talk much. We discuss
model trains. We don't discuss guns; we've nothing
new to say on that subject.
Mostly Kurt sits and drinks coffee.
Buddhism teaches that only the present
is real; the past is gone and the future
For me, on this last night of 2000,
the present is the least real. In here,
I am somewhere else, somewhere
between the years.
This past year was difficult, troubled. Politics -
The whole year I worked and now I feel
as if my house had been broken into and robbed.
Medical - I have balance problems, literally.
I need a new year.
The coming year is uncertain. Job, career ...
Is it too late to figure out
What I'm going to be when I grow up?
Can I still make a mark?
In here, Kurt turns on the TV. A hundred
young people crowd Times Square to watch
The ball drop.
I will go to bed early,
wake up early,
and watch the new year dawn.
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