New Year’s Day 2022: How We Spent It
We adapt. We make last minute plans. we move on.
My husband Tony and I spent New Years Day in New Orleans; Away from work, we haven’t traveled outside New York in nearly two years, and the idea of discovering a different city – one where it’s warm enough to eat and drink outside; One that seemed to take vaccination, testing, and mask-wearing seriously – sounded cute and unsettling, coda fitting for this temporary year.
We do something just to do it.
All week, we’ve been hanging out with an old friend, Parker, who came home to Louisiana 10 years ago. We didn’t completely lose touch, but we weren’t in touch either.
One night, when my favorite song from Dreamgirls was playing on gay TV, we met a group of guys who were also visiting from Brooklyn. They all live a few blocks from us, and we’ve been for hours driving around town, a certified local who works as a tour guide of sorts. Who knows if I’ll see them in the city we share, but I hope so. Who knows if I’ll keep in regular contact with Parker once I get home, but I hope so too. This is my resolution this year: acknowledging that friendships—both new and old—can be one constant amidst chaos, nurturing and deepening them even when they feel like impossible.
In New Orleans and elsewhere in the American South, there is a tradition to eat black-eyed peas and green cabbage on New Year’s Day. Parker’s friend Mark explained that the point is to encourage luck and money in the coming year. I didn’t end up eating anything – I’m not one for ritual. But maybe I will come back next year. Until then, I think I’ll try to keep in touch. – Kurt Soller
“The eye is the most mixed organ.”
When the new year finally started this week, I knew, I was as welcoming of it as I had been for most days last year and the year before: by turning on my phone and entering Instagram. Filled with ads, governed by evil algorithms and vulnerable to close censorship, the social media app is anything but a neutral force. However, I wonder how I would have made it through the time pressure of an era when new terms like Blursday entered the language for good reason.
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