I left the house at 8:30pm. Burlington is about a 45 minute drive and the traffic was clear from the border all the way into Toronto. Strange. I expected something, but I guess the cold and the way people prepare for this arbitrary night of festivities allows those with plans further away an easy ride. I quickly stopped in at the Big Bee convenience store, picking up a couple bags of chips, smokes and lighter. The patch had been working, but a night a party is a night of enjoying tobacco.
I lit up and hit the QEW. I tired to blast Alexisonfire, but it wasn’t very loud, even at maximum volume. Fucking iTunes. I bought it off the store, straight download. I kept it playing anyway. Ten minutes in, cigarette finished, a melancholy washed over me. I remembered the last New Year’s Eve. I worked, I think. I couldn’t remember. I remembered the one before that. Hanging with close friends, drinking, playing Apples to Apples, general drunkenness and an 3am IHOP breakfast to soak up the alcohol. A good night. It may have been the hunger feeling, I’d been staying strict paleo all day and my body hadn’t fully adjusted. It may have been the cold or even the smoke, but I couldn’t shake it. All the way up, kilometer by kilometer, I felt like turning around and burying myself in my room. Useless and happy to be that way.
I arrived at Aldershot Station, one of the two choices given to me by my sister for where to be picked up. The party was to be big enough that parking would be non-existent, so her boyfriend cleverly chose the regional train stations as his rally points. I parked near the entrance and texted him my location. Quickly, he responded with what car would pick me up. I lit up my third smoke of the night, waiting in my idling vehicle, keeping warm. I quickly finished it. Time seemed to go like molasses in winter. I got out of the car and lit up again. Waiting. Lit up again. Watching every car go by and not seeing my ride. Fuck, it was cold. -7C. Cold for me, anyway. Years of the Southwest spoiled me. Finally, the gray pickup arrived and I got in the back seat.
The driver was a large guy with a boyish face. It fit the group of gamers and fellow travelers that my sister and her boyfriend run with. In the passenger seat was a blonde with a decent voice. We quickly all started talking. Joking about seeing my sister drunk. Ideas about hitting up the host for stripper money was seriously considered. I quickly began to get into game mode. The blonde was chipper and receptive. This night will take off, I thought to myself. We arrived and we all got out. I changed my mind. She was chubby, and not in the cute way. Her face was not cute nor did the weight put anything of value on her body. Even skinny, I doubt she would have been worthy of my dark magic. I didn’t flinch or change my flow. Good night, I told myself. No matter what.
As soon as we walked in, my sister was drunk as fuck, bellowing “That’s my brother!” Pointing and waving her arms. The entire room looked over and I waved. I need a drink, I thought and tossed down the chips on a nearby table. The selection of alcohol was massive. A six foot long table, six feet high with cubbyholes, completely covered in everything from vodka to rum to whiskey and rye. I took my time, finally just going for a basic rum and coke. I filled the cup over a third with rum, then found a can and topped it off. My sister found me and gasped, “That’s a lot of alcohol.” I replied with a dead “Yup.”
At the dining table was a skinny, fair skined, raven haired cutie. I walked over and struck up a conversation, sister in tow. She, again, mentioned that I was her brother. She smiled a lot. Quickly, the alcohol kicked in. Empty stomach. This may be a good night, I thought.