Dec. 31st, 2009, 11:30 PM. I needed change.
11:30 PM and someone said we should climb the lookout. In the middle of a wildlife reserve. In the dark. We were in the middle of this nowhere anyway. We were tired of flying down an icy hill on over-sized tubes and throwing gasoline on the fire. I was tired of chocolate Christmas baking and being the oldest in the group. I was tired of doing doughnuts in empty parking lots and hours spent running in a mild winter out of pure frustration.
twenty five of us piled into four cars and sped down to the empty reserve and a clear starry sky. We ran down clapboard paths over dead winter marshes and up the four flights of steps to the open top. We made it, breathless, by midnight.
I screamed at the emptiness and my small town's lights in the distance. I grabbed my blonde friend and we looked at each other, jaws set.
"Get lost, 2009. We're so done with you!"
She was going to Calgary. I was going to Arizona. I haven't seen her since. I miss her, but I know her life has gone the way she wanted.
And myself. I just didn't know. I'm not my brothers that were hugging me, lifting me, threatening to throw me over the rail. I'd given up construction long ago. I was twenty three. I'd seen the world.
Twenty four of us yelling in the new year. Crammed in an open look-out tower blindly hugging and looking forward to 2010. And me.