The ever so famous Greg Young.
As he is the one that will guide you
through this convoluted mess.
Countdown To 2000
Slide back a few days and we meet Christmas. This year, it would be a quiet one, with just the family, no relatives. As I opened the lone present in the fireplace, a smile hit my face because my dad had picked the most obscure present that he could have. I was glancing at a Sharp MiniDisc player. At the time, the sole purpose of the gift was to record stupid random things that I would hear in everyday conversation. I was to start the “Disc of Isht” series of sounds that spanned a week or two.
The first sounds were to come from playing tag in the woods near Sedona. I rallied up in the area with my friend Adam and his family. I recorded three tracks, only about a few minutes long, of running around the deserted plains and red rocks of Sedona. After the games, we ate at a family restaurant and made our way to a chocolate shop. Shockingly, someone from behind me tapped on my shoulder to talk to me. I was wearing a Tennessee Titans T-shirt that I had recently bought and the lady behind me had something to say. She was a St. Louis Rams fan, and the Tennessee Titans were the only team to beat them convincingly. We joked about it for a while, not knowing that those two teams would meet in the greatest Super Bowl to hit the nation.
The day in Sedona was over, and it was time to rest. The next few days became a lead to the night of New Year’s Eve.
December 31 drifted very slowly. I woke up early and carried on my day as usual. There was a New Year’s Party at an Indian restaurant later tonight and all my energy was to be saved for that. Throughout the whole day, all I could think of was the party. The time came to leave, and it was time to have fun.
I traveled to the Royal Taj, an Indian restaurant where my friend Vinay and his family was hosting a party. I brought my MiniDisc (MD) with me to record some random things that would be going on at a noisy party. I met up with Vinay and some other Indians real quick and we started the night out on a bang. We headed outside and just did some stupid things that would waste time. When the ten o’ clock hour came around, the fun started to occur. I had recorded much of the night on MD and was ready to cool off outside while Vinay went to the bathroom.
Another Indian child, aged ten and one of my friends’ brothers, was chatting with a bunch of girls near me. Just for fun, I created a few jokes that seemed to severely anger him. Not knowing how what I said was provoking, I ran in the direction of the restaurant. The child grabbed a bunch of rocks and started running toward me. He hurled them at me, while a few nicked me. The others hit a glass door behind me and shattered it. I swiftly made my way inside to inform everyone that someone else’s property had just been destroyed.
Vinay, who had been in the bathroom this whole time, had not been educated. I went inside the bathroom with my other friend and we started confabulating with him from outside the stall. Of course I recorded the conversation. He was shocked and did not understand what we were getting at, so we took him outside to show him the shattered glass door. It would be forgotten until next year.
There was only an hour or so before the clock struck midnight, so the DJ started playing some music for people to dance to. We did not get much into it and we just hung around until 11:50 hit the clock. I set my MD to start recording five minutes later, and all of us grabbed some apple cider. During the five minute span before 2000, Vinay informed me he had spiked his drink with some Kingfisher beer that was just sitting around on someone’s table. It seemed very funny to catch that kind of speech on MD. The time rolled closer to midnight and everyone’s face became anxious. The countdown started from sixty, but everyone was off and there was hesitation until finally everyone came back on track and started shouting in unison. With less than ten seconds left, I had an outbreak to scream a bunch of times, which I did. Then the final moment came. First everyone shouted “Zero,” and then there was infinite screaming. The years had just changed.
As everyone calmed down, an elder man gave a speech about the 1900s. Then the lights dimmed once more so everyone could get dancing. The first batch of dances was rap and hip-hop music. I really did not have a clue how to dance and neither did my colleagues. After a few songs, the DJ played some metal hits and Vinay and I started to jump around to it. Soon a circle formed and we were the only ones jumping up and down to such music. We even added some air guitaring and a few hints of moshing. For about an hour, it was just us performing neck-breaking acts of dancing while everyone else watched us. As we became tired, we stepped outside for some air. Vinay’s father had come out to talk to us because he had thought that we were quite hyper and maybe we had been taking some alcohol. Vinay had a some beer, but we did not reveal that to anyone. We took a walk outside to get a breather. As we were doing that, we noticed the shattered door. My father walked by and told me that he was going to leave and that I should get a ride back with friends.
At 2:00 AM, the place closed down and everyone started to exit the area. As everyone started to leave, they noticed the glass door that was indefinitely in pieces. One of the adults took it upon himself to stick his hand through the window, only to make it crumble into more pieces. Everyone stared at it longer and then finally departed with no apparent solution of what to do with it. I was to venture to Vinay’s house for a while.
In an instant, we marched into his room and started playing a Rage Against the Machine song entitled “War Within A Breath” which featured the lyrics “Everything can change, on a New Year’s Day, as everything changed, on New Year’s Day.” The song seemed quite appropriate for the occasion. The time at Vinay’s house was pretty vague, but we stayed there until 5:00 AM listening to music and playing around with gadgets. When I returned home, I slept a well-needed rest.
Another day passed, and it was time for my father to leave for San Diego. He packed all his stuff and loaded them into the car. He told me he would come back in two or three weeks to stay for a weekend. I opened the garage door and watched his face in the car. The car backed out and turned onto the street. He waved once more back at me, and then drove off. I never stood for so long staring at an open garage door. I closed the door and walked inside. The year had started off on an injury.