“New Year’s Eve” – Part One

I said I’d try to do better than my last post…so this should do it.

For probably a couple of years, I’ve been talking about releasing an internet-exclusive concept record called “New Year’s Eve” along with an accompanying libretto.  Well…years later, it’s almost D-Day.  I’m listening to the mix for hopefully the last time on my drive to work tomorrow.  I’m pretty close to “happy” with it.  I’ve built (but not yet uploaded) the page for DerekBrink.com that will house the project.  I’ve designed all the art.  I’ve done all the techie stuff you’ve got to do for this kind of project.  We’re finally almost there.

Before it “goes live” on the net, I thought I’d use the blog to post the story.  It comes in three parts.  Following is part one.  Tune in again on Wednesday for part two.  Thursday for part three.  Then hopefully on Friday, I’ll get the page up for the music downloads.  (Since I’m posting the story in pieces here, I’ll do a single-post here with all the links to the songs, whereas on the “New Year’s Eve” page, you’ll have to hunt and peck a little—you’ll get it when you see it.)  It *might* not go live until Saturday, because my Friday nights are usually kinda full…but it’ll be Saturday at the latest.

I’m excited.  I’ve also got the usual doubts…but whatever.  At least you’re not paying for it.  (And yes, this is one of the four solo projects I referred to in the last post.)

So, with no further ado (after the legal crap), here’s part one of the libretto for “New Year’s Eve.”  Finally!

————

“New Year’s Eve” by Derek Brink. — Copyright D. Brink 2010, Work in Progress.

(Disclaimer: All characters are created and are completely fictional. Any resemblance to anyone living or dead is a complete accident, and I’m sorry to hear about it. Also, please be advised that suicide is a stupid, selfish thing, and I don’t support it…so don’t do that, and don’t blame me if someone you know does it… ‘Kay? Also, I want to state up front that I owe a world of influence to Nick Hornby’s novel “A Long Way Down.” I recognize the similarities, and I encourage you to read his book–and pay for it, since you’re not paying for this. Thanks. -Derek)

————

PART I

They say that buildings have memories. I’ve read a couple of novels on the subject. Buildings, they speculate, see more of life than any person ever will. Hospitals see countless births and deaths. Churches see innumerable life-changing moments. Even a ranch-style home sees more than its share of scraped knees, marital spats, divorces, birthdays, sexual entanglements…

I live in a 30 story apartment building. My humble home has its share of memories. This is the place Chloe and I knew would be just-right when we first got married. It’s a nice, roomy place, and back then it had room to grow. Good thing, since a few years later we’d have Angela and Becky running around. This apartment has seen a lot. It saw our children arrive. It saw them grow. It saw Angela start bringing home soccer-trophies. We were married on New Year’s Eve 1999. We moved in on New Year’s Day 2000. A flare for the dramatic, I guess. This place has seen Chloe and I at our happiest…and at our saddest.

In this past year, this old building has seen me lose my job–I was a Literature Professor. Mr. Bush’s economy took my job away in April. It has seen my discovery that my job did not provide unemployment benefits. It has seen me get turned down for job after job. It’s seen me grow a beard and lose some hope, while gaining weight. It’s seen Chloe growing more and more frustrated. Sure, she’s a Paralegal and makes good money, but having a once successful husband turn into a leech tends to wear on a woman after some time. It’s seen fights. It seen my children worry about if Daddy’s going to come back tonight after he walked out, slamming the door. It also saw The Affair. That Chloe and I were so distant that she… Well… Suffice to say that it’s seen some things I’d prefer not to remember walking in on. It saw Chloe and the girls leave in September, while I was out on a job interview. It’s seen me, reduced to working for tips at a greasy-spoon, puttering around, looking at the few things she left, wondering what she’s been telling my daughters.

They say buildings have memories. I wish I didn’t. I wish I didn’t have the memory of spending Christmas alone, only that stupid damn cat of hers walking around to keep me company. I wish I didn’t have the memory of sending Angela and Becky a Christmas Card I knew they would never be given. I wish I could forget the look on her face as she collected the remainder of the girls’ things back in November; the force-of-habit coldness in her goodbye wave from the window of the van. I wish I could forget it all. But I can’t. I’ll remember it for the rest of my life. Fortunately, I do not expect that to be a very long memory.

Soon, before the ink is dry on the divorce papers, Chloe is bound to shack up with Todd (the co-star of The Affair) and my kids are bound to start forgetting. Becky’s young enough that she may not even remember my face at all after a couple of years. Angela will, but she will slowly forget my voice–the funny noises I made reading her bedtime stories…etc. Chloe will remember me, but she’ll find way to block it out. The only thing that will keep me near to mind is this apartment–this building. It will remember every moment of me cracking open my 12th story window, listening to the last seconds of the New Year’s countdown, and plunging to my death–a flare for the dramatic. I’m going to aim for the car belonging to Ms. Paponicolas. Serves her right for calling the police on LAST YEAR’S party. My name’s Chris, by the way. Nice to meet you.

…3…2…1

[to be continued]

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