Time to Settle Accounts
January 1, 2012: Life of a party.
After discussing several potential iterations, New Years 2012 ended up being a loft party in a building at the six corners, followed by a post-midnight gathering at my apartment. My lone objective was to be with Ric and Rota, and once that was in hand, location was secondary.
The loft is an enormous space segmented into three parts – a large room used as the main dance hall, a smaller back room with the bar, and a secluded upstairs storage area off limits to guests. Large men in black SECURITY t-shirts greeted us upon our arrival, and after some confusion over my name and the comp list, Ric (my +1) and I entered. Rota and his law school friends were already inside, having bought tickets the night before.
The loft belonged to a man named Roy, friend of my friends Dottie and Psalm. Dottie was working the coat check, while Psalm was the evening’s host. The night was just getting going and already I sensed chaos brewing under an organized surface. The night was very well organized, but 200 people mixed with New Years, alcohol, a possible apocalypse, music, and dancing is a volatile cocktail.
Sure enough, as Ric and I entered, Dot looked harried. Roy walked past me and I shook his hand and said “Jack” to make sure he remembered me, and he said, “I know, but I’m working,” and resumed his walk down the stairs. I saw Psalm in the big room; she was walking toward the back and we were standing in the middle of the dance hall and she greeted me with her ebullient style, but later I saw her marching back the other way like an irritated bull, a man trailing behind her pleading for her to listen.
“Wasn’t that your friend?” Ric said.
“Yeah, and she looks pissed,” I said. “Never seen her mad like that.”
I got the story later: the guy had wandered up to the secluded attic space, and when Psalm let him know that it was off-limits, he said, “You have to give me a good explanation.”
Still, the crowds were mostly orderly, the drink service mostly quick, the bathrooms mostly available, the security mostly patient, and though the coat check hit a snafu late in the evening, the guests were smiling and dancing and drinking and singing along to Michael Jackson whenever they had the chance.
I saw Roy after midnight. He was standing near the wall, talking to a woman, a strained expression on his face. We caught eyes and I flashed him a thumbs up, which he exhaustedly returned. I walked over.
“Great job!” I said to him. He nodded, a tired man glad that it was all clean-up from here. “Seriously,” I said, “it’s hard to pull off a big night like this. Look around. Everyone’s having fun. No fights. No serious problems. You gave everyone a good night.”
“Thank you,” he said reluctantly, but I made another seriously, great job face, and he smiled a bit, and then laughed, and then smiled a bit more and shrugged again and said, “But Happy New Year, so screw it, right?”
NEXT: Keep it to yourself. (1.2.12)
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On this date, 2011: A new decade?