Maybe it’s much too early in the game…
“I’ve been thinking about Frank Loesser all day.”
“Who is Frank Loesser” asked the woman with the perfectly painted lips and great watch who was to my left.
“Frank Loesser was a composer from the late 30s until he died in 1969. He died young but he wrote prolifically during his life. He was responsible for almost as many standards as Gershwin. Luck be a Lady might be his most famous, but What are You Doing New Years Eve is the song that’s been moving through my mind all day.”
“How old is that man who inhabits your thirty something soul?”
The question makes me smile. “How long have we known each other now?”
“Ten years has a nice ring to it. You ever talk to Eva?”
Oh but I thought I’d ask you just the same.
“Ha, I think you know the answer to that – it’s not in either of our interest for us to talk. And speaking of loves from way back when, when is Jason going to make you an honest woman?”
“We haven’t really talked about a date but you’ll get an invitation… I know that look. Your about to be an arse, aren’t you?”
I’ve never been very good about keeping my cards close to the vest when I was around Lynette so I stare at my beer and pretend I didn’t hear her.
What are you doing New Years, New Years Eve?
“Refugee, just spit it out, whatever thought is running through that contorted brain of yours, you need to let it escape.”
“Lynette, we’ve talked about this before and I wish I’d never asked the question because my position is the same and you already knew that.”
“So what about that song has you in such a reflective mood?” she asked in a segue that is her wont and habit.
“It’s not a Christmas carol, but this is the only time of the year it gets played. Frank Loesser wrote the song with the intention of it being sung in the spring by a man so taken with a woman that he wants to ask her out for New Years Eve in the March.”
“That is really sweet and the song makes even more sense to me now.”
“Maybe it is just the calendar influencing my mind but I want that level of deliberate, that kind of want, that certainty” I say before taking a healthy swallow of air. “There is this image in my mind of dancing with the one I brought and moving through wordless conversation while this song plays just before midnight.”
I wonder whose arms will hold you good and tight
“Refugee, fuck you and your beloved romance. In the real world, love is more negotiation than fair tale. You’ve watched one too many Meg Ryan movies and you have some street scene fantasy about professing love on New Year’s. Life doesn’t work that way.”
“Lynette, maybe three years of engagement without a date has sapped all your ability to hear the Christmas bells, or maybe I am the fool you say but I am happy to still believe in unicorns, tilting at windmills, and the like. I still want to feel my toes curl from a kiss when it’s exactly twelve o’clock that night.”
When it’s exactly twelve o’clock that night
“Truce or maybe back to neutral corners?”
“My apologies, love, that thing in my review mirror is a line and I’m sorry I passed it.”
“How do you do it? How are you such a romantic?”
“I don’t have much choice in the matter, Lynette. Life might be easier or less painful if I wasn’t, and I don’t enjoy the hurt; but I wouldn’t want to live any other way. I’ve felt what it’s like to know love on steroids and I want that feeling again and I am willing to risk to get it. I want an urgent and emergent kind of love, and, no, I have no idea what makes a man profess that he wants to spend the rest of his life with a woman and yet be thoroughly incapable of setting a date for that life to begin.”
“I thought we agreed on neutral corners?”
“We did, sorry about that.”
Welcoming in the new year, New Years Eve
“So where is this mythical woman you want to dance with on New Year’s? You have any prospects?”
“So far she exists only in my mind, though I did make a promise to kiss a friend at midnight. What about you and Jason, where will you greet the baby new year?”
“My parents are having their party of course, we’ll be there.”
“And how are Betty and George? They throw one helluva a party.”
“They’re great. Dad finally retired this fall.”
“I’ve always really liked your old man, and the two of them are adorable together. The way they still hold hands just makes me smile.”
Maybe I’m crazy to suppose, I’d ever be the one you chose
“You’re more than welcome to come, they always loved you. I can’t promise you anyone to kiss besides my older sister though.”
“Her husband might have some objection to that.”
“I’ll distract him.”
“Won’t you have something else to do?”
“You’re not coming anyway. I’ll tell Betty and George you said hello though. Good luck with your kiss.”
Out of a thousand invitations
Oh but in case I stand one little chance
Here comes the jackpot question in advance
What are you doing
New Years Eve
I don’t really know.