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The sharp crack of the first firework. The flicker of a tea candle on a white tablecloth. A crisp bill left of the smooth marble of an upscale bar. The iced condensation of a cold martini glass.
A burst of multicolored confetti. The sound of laughter pouring out of a pub. Splitting fries with your friends while sitting on a curb, watching live music play across the street. An amazing Snapchat story.
The first tick of the New Year on a wristwatch. The buzzing neon glow of a 24 hour sign in the window of a takeout restaurant. The foam of a dark Guinness beer spilling over onto the bar mat. Miscounting the seconds to midnight, laughing and starting over too late.
A sparkling crystal glass of champagne. The graceful, arching curve of cigarette smoke curling into the night sky. An Instagram caption worded and reworded carefully, still not perfect. The innate promise of bedlam, of a chaotic spark ready to burn the new year into something exhilarating.
Watching a city celebrate from the roof of a skyscraper. The sound of footsteps echoing off a silent street. The heft of the thick dark glass of a fancy bottle of champagne. The silver of the stars breaking through after being obscured by the dark smoke of fireworks.
The sparkle of a sequined dress. The slip of an empty shot glass out of your fingers. The heat of a stranger’s mouth on yours. The blinding flash of a spotlight.
The heat of your breath clouding the crystal-clear night. A freshly completed phone note, full of New Year’s resolutions. The blush of being caught talking to an attractive stranger when the countdown begins. A custom Instagram filter.
The muffled sound of a baseline emanating from a club. The burn of strong perfumed alcohol. A successful dare, barely spoken, but honored. The edges of the sky fiery with the first taste of morning.
Straight whisky, served without ice but with a garnish. The sense of finality of those last few hours of the year, sometimes encouraging acts of wild abandon. The glow of a taxi cab meter, more familiar than the streets. Making the DJ play a song a second time, but this time, not the remix.
A fortune cookie fortune tucked into a jacket pocket. The feeling beyond weariness, where the edges of reality seem just around the corner. Singing Auld Lang Syne as the clock strikes midnight. A kiss, cementing the unspoken admission of feelings.
A crumpled map for the underground. Wandering a convenience store with friends at 2AM, laughing and joking as you shop for midnight snacks. The hypnotizing flash of police lights bouncing off nearby buildings as the cops direct traffic away from downtown revelry. Feeling young and unstoppable even as you celebrate the literal passage of time.
The refined clink of champagne glasses at midnight. A swipe of red lipstick, soon smudged. Watching fireworks explode from a balcony overlooking the city. The smoothly graceful whoosh of elevator doors closing, leaving the flatteringly clever shadows of the darkness behind.
The uneven sound of EDM. Converse worn with a dressy outfit. An extraneous smudge of eyeliner, perfectly forgotten. Darkened apartment buildings, interrupted only by the light from one window.
Walking towards a forgotten destination with friends, ending up shouting and laughing at a playground in the dark. The weight of someone laying their head on your shoulder. Strobe lights, turned psychedelic when they hit colorfully dyed hair. A fashionable cocktail with an extra straw.
The sound of a bottle shattering against cobblestones. A phone buzzing endlessly with notifications, the real-world expression of virality. The kind of fireworks show so gaudy you begin to get dazed, lost in the expression of so much power. Lipstick left on the rim of a highball glass, forgotten in the frozen moment.
The quiet that settles over a city in the wee hours of the new year as the revelers finally sleep. The feeling of hope for a new kind of change. The glasses that fit the year into the frames. An innocent kiss at midnight that promises something more.