It has often baffled me how uncomfortable single society seems to be when conforming to a New Year. Not necessarily the ones that are drinking and partying out with friends in Washington Heights, or even the ones of a farther coast in upper Greenwich Village. Some shape the idea of being close to their loved ones, others only want to be close to one loved one… The fact of the matter is, we come up with some sort of New Year’s resolution to follow through after, and almost never make it through until the end of the next year- whether it was because a dose of obstacles fell in our way, or because thee obstacle stepped into our way. It happens for every single New Yorker, and the after effect can ultimately make you or break you. The year we decide to say yes to the midnight kiss.
Will you still love me, tomorrow?
On the eve of New York, tourist and natives collide the streets of Times Square with coffee cups filled to the brim with beer or actual coffee and Bailey’s, adjacent with hot chocolate for the children. Various fraternity guys, and of course, an overbearing amount of couples- all waiting for a ball of thousand lights to descend and bless their relationship for the next year.
“I mean- she was cute and all, but it was freezing bro, and all she said was ‘You have to be here by twelve’ and when I wasn’t- she cheated on me. So I dumped her.”
Randal was a 28-year-old captain on the Hornblower, a party boat- which was perfect for Randal whose favorite sport was not boating, but actually picking up girls.
It was Tuesday night and as opposed to going to hit up a local bar, a few friends and I thought to take it slow for the night and have a roasting game night at a much louder square room on 19th and 7th, Magenta’s house. These are some of the people I usually turn to for insight on the way others think, the mix was of straight, gay, and lesbian descent- so I knew all corners of reason.
“I don’t believe in that. I just want a kiss.” Jeremiah, a twenty-three-year-old homosexual paramedic who couldn’t and didn’t want to keep his willy in his pants.
“Well, maybe she wasn’t cheating, she just wanted a kiss in at midnight, can you blame the bitch, we have rituals! You think this face only came from Sephora?!” Destiny, a bartender that works on the same boat as Randal, she flicked her blunt/joint on an ashtray and started blowing circles into his face, she was about the same age as him, maybe younger- but effortlessly beautiful. “It could be makeup or love, bitches like her have to worship something.”
I knew she didn’t hold any Midnight Kiss ritual, no guy or girl would allow it. Before I could even denounce it, she let go the retort for the room’s laughter ‘Brandy kissed me last year, on the cheek, then disappeared three months after, maybe it only works on the lips’.
Is he a man or is he a ritual?
The next day, I volunteered at the first chance to get another person’s opinion on the thought of the Midnight Ritual on New Years, was it true? Did women and feminine guys/ gays really live by this code that one day on a cold and dusk New Year’s Eve, a kiss with some man will predestine stability for the year of the 364 days? And an even bigger question, did this ritual have any power in New York?
“The first year, Me and Ahmed kissed at twelve, boom- the second year, we kissed on-the-dot and kissed in front of his family- boom! The third year, his dumb ass was tired- or at least I thought he was, but HE WAS REALLY WITH HER! Months later, the bitch shows up pregnant.”
If you haven’t noticed by now, all my friend’s have the mouths of sailors.
Yaya was a half successful cosmetologist, she had a lengthy clientele and I even had to admit, she had really good taste in clothes- it was most of the reason she was my personal stylist, hair advisor, and really good friend.
“Women don’t care about that twelve o’clock stuff, he woke up the next day and realized he had switched my name on the flight itinerary, fucked up on the best thing that ever happened to him, and impregnated a lesbian! Karma Bitch, sweet, sweet karma.”
A ritual? A curse? Or a resolution…
After gathering everyone’s opinion, it was mind boggling that I still couldn’t come to full terms with my own. Weren’t these superstitions and rituals the folklore that gave us some thread of belief that we will find that special someone in the imminent future- wasn’t it your mother who told you ‘If a boy hits you, he has a crush on you’? I believe there was a time even you believed if you stepped on a crack on Friday the 13th, your mother would be in trouble. So why was this piece of voodoo so hard to swallow? “Maybe hope. It was all I had at the end, then I found her.” The events of the other night came so vividly, I allowed myself to fall in my memory. Magenta passed the blunt back over to me, jogging the question, “What gives us hope if all belief is lost?” I ashed the joint, taking a hefty pull to correlate with her response. “Maybe that’s the exact moment, maybe it only comes when you are at your lowest…”
“Who knows, for most of us, that’s probably New Year’s.”