Countdown

It’s New Year’s Eve, the last seconds of it, and the countdown is beginning. Around me, thrumming through my ears, the numbers start, and I close my eyes.

The new year. A time to put aside the old one, to forget all you were and embrace all you can be. I absentmindedly hook my thumb into my waistband as I watch the fireworks, my posture slumping, my hand warm from residual body heat.

The house blew down last year – Sandra, or Pelemina, or Kerry, something like that. I’m in a neighbourhood I don’t know, pretending to celebrate with people who have only let me into their home through politeness, no real feeling. Jason left after a series of screaming rows about how I’d never change, how I could never improve. I dyed my hair black because I felt like it. I had to change my name after… well, you saw what happened. For my own safety, for my family’s.

What is there left to change for 2013?

I like being someone new. I think I’ll try it again next year.

So I think about the constants.

About my breath, the inhales and exhales still happening

and body heat

and new starts, again and again.

Still here. Still breathing. Still waiting…

and

two

and

one.

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