Saturday, January 2, 2010
New Year in Old San Juan
10... 9... 8...7....6...5..4...3...2... Feliz ANO NUEVO!!!! And so it went... out with the old of 2009 and into the new of 2010. Oddly enough, I didn't feel the usual sense of commitment to change and setting new big goals, perhaps because I was just appreciative of my situation. I felt more like an extra on the set of an incredible movie, watching the scene unfolding in front of my eyes. There I was, underdressed in trunks, a t shirt, and crocs, surrounded by beautiful faces of folks from all over the world who were dressed to the nines and dancing like mad. The weather was overcast, maybe 75 degrees or so, and I was staring up into the night sky at the incredible fireworks display that was ringing in the new year. Live music raged into the night as the beautiful bodies slithered this way and that in a pulse that was beyond comprehension. Plaza Colon was partying like nobody's business, but I was quietly observing, not in a partying mood at all. I was there to watch it go down, but for some reason that was good enough for me. I was happy, quiet, and lost in my own thoughts.
"What the fuck dude! You are the life of the party usually... what's gotten into you?" Sam said, noticing my transparent state as he tried to feed me a bottle that was being passed around in the dancing crowd. I didn't answer. I didn't drink. I just shrugged my shoulders and kept looking around in a daze. Somehow I had let my mind get lost in the reverie of all of the events that had led me here in the first place. I thought about all of the workings of the universe over the past four or five years, pulling me into this very moment. I thought of how I met Sam and Alwin in Buffalo 6 months ago, how I met Lucy and the children over four years ago, how I quit my job this year and started my own business, and how I had ended up in San Juan this very evening by meeting Lisa and Sarah a bit over a week ago. I thought of my family and friends and how much I missed them. I thought of my many successes and failures, the women I had loved, the hearts I had broken, the ones I had mended, the good and evil I had done throughout my life. Flashing randomly through chunks of my life, I let my mind run wild down memory lane and I thought, "this is what it must feel like to trip on acid or something". I never have, but I was completely lost in my thoughts despite all the chaos around me. It was a pretty intense feeling, but I let it roll and pass through my brain.
"Some people have it all figured out" I thought. " ...and if they don't, life figures it out for them. The wedding, the babies come, the career, the education, the house, the retirement, the plot in the cemetery. Usually some bad shit happens in between, the illness, the car accident, the company closes, death of a loved one, friends betray, divorce...etc. Life goes like that for most of the people I know, and for most of the people on the earth I suppose. Why the hell am I here? In the middle of the beautiful island, in the middle of winter, enjoying almost every moment, even the minute challenges.... why am I so fortunate? Yes I have problems, like anyone else. Yes I work hard. Yes I think positive. Yes I force myself to change and grow. Is this it? Is this the secret to life.... how about shut the hell up and THANK GOD for blessing you with all of these wonderful gifts and talents. Thank God you are right here, right now!" I gripped my own arm to break the spell, smiled at the passing crowd, grabbed the arms of my two friends and shuffled down the cobblestone streets of the old city. This is going to be one hell of a good year....