Wednesday, September 20
New Years Eve 2000
New Years Eve 2000. The Millenium night. From the balcony of my one room apartment I could see thousands of party lights twinkling all over Pos. The road was lit up with car headlights, the drivers inching forwards, impatient to find a car park and start partying. The festivities would take place on the beach, live music, DJ's, fireworks and a huge bonfire. It was cold and windy, so there was no chance of dressing up for the evening. I pulled on two pairs of tights, layered on longsleeved tops and sweaters, a skirt, knee-high boots and topped it off with my smart coat from Coast.
As I stepped outside the front door, everything went black. A power cut. I looked around and saw that the whole town had been affected. I could hear neighbours calling to each other, asking where the candles and torches were. I smiled to myself, imagining how many people were trying to get ready for the biggest party of all time, now in pitch darkness. I walked slowly down the alleyway that led to the road, feeling my way down the steps.
As I made my way towards the beach, down the hundreds of steps, I could hear families gathered together for the big cenone, the New Years Eve feast. From the open windows, tantalising aromas wafted through the air, the sound of laughter and the clink of cutlery on plates ricocheting between the walls of the alleyways. I thought of myself eating dinner an hour ago. Instant risotto eaten out of the saucepan, while perched on the side of the bed staring at the contents of my wardrobe. How unItalian of me. I had been invited to join various families for this last meal of the century, but I had preferred to stay at home alone, slightly melancholy, far away from my own family.
As I reached the bottom of the steps, and walked towards the beach, the lights in the town flickered back into life. There was a muffled roar of appreciation that came from all around the amphitheatre shaped town. I walked over to the beach front restaurants and found Lina, sitting at a table with her boyfriend.
She looked strange, her cheeks were bright pink so I went in to see if she was ok. It was warm and crowded inside the restaurant, tables were crammed together and the noise was deafening.
“Are you Ok?” I asked Lina, “you um, look a bit flushed.”
“Oh, no! I knew I should have checked. The lights went out while I was doing my
makeup, so I did it in the dark! Is it really awful?”
“Just, er, a bit strong maybe, go into the bathroom and wipe a bit off!” I suggested.
I don't really remember exactly where I was at the stroke of midnight. I have photos of crowds of happy people in the piazza, I remember bottles of champagne being passed
around, hugs and kisses on flushed cheeks, the smell of gunpowder from the thousands of fireworks that exploded and the haze of smoke that lingered all evening.
at 9:44 AM