The Chicken Murder, The Diving Spider, and The Girl From Bali.
My once a year investment into a really good bottle of twelve year old single malt Scotch went with me to Sea Pond, for Elbow’s end of the year bash. If I could afford a fifty gallon drum of the stuff I would be dead in a day, but the Gods Of Drunkenness are kind, so I can only afford to drink good Scotch once a year.
I pulled up and let loose a string of firecrackers, just to let everyone know I had arrived, and as I entered Elbow’s newly painted plantation house, I immediately sensed something was wrong. Theo, the ancient black Lab mix greeted me, but the doggie drama that usually portents my arrival was missing. Still, the Wandering Spirits who gather every New Year’s Eve were there, and I had to push my canine misgreetings away.
Were to begin? All these people are interconnected, but not all by marriage or family, just happenstance and college campuses. Both Elbow’s sons were there, the youngest looks very much like a young Abe Lincoln, and eldest who looks a little like a happy Bob Dylan, and Dylan’s wife, the supermodel from NOLA, was there, of course. There’s a couple with three kids who show up every year, and the kids are those types of kids everyone would like to have, but few take the time to actually parent them into it. The woman in this relationship has invited some of her kin to the party, but they are late arrivals so we will speak of them later.
The Asian man with the nice camera returned again, and his skill with the lens last year was demonstrated with some very nice time exposed shots of sparkler writing. It’s good to see someone with a real camera at these events lest my photos, which makes it look all the world like some ghostly gathering of shadows and half light, be our only record of the year’s end. Ah! The Unitarians were there from Boston, and Kansas City, just to the two of them, from both places at once, and that would be Boston Georgia. Elbow’s ex-husband, the father of her sons was there as well, and that completes the party list of people I can remember at this point in time. I reference the first sentence of this missive, to plea away thoughtlessness if I forgot someone, please.
As is customary, the rosemary roasted beast was carved and we consumed it with much good conversation. There was also garlic roasted string beans, a delightful salad, and Scotch. I tried the home made beer which might be hitting the national market soon, and must say I was very impressed. There is something to be said about a man who can raise good kids and make good beer. The background music that the Abe Lincoln son habitually mixes was a blend of old music, and some new, and there were many songs from years gone past I hadn’t heard in many nights.
Elbow and I went to fed the horses, for no matter the party, the livestock must be tended to, and that’s when I learned of the most grievous death of a chicken, by the paws of Frank The Frenetic Border Collie, and Izzy, The Puppy Of Universal Cuteness. Elbow is very fond of her egg producing hens, and the fact no one tried to rescue the poor bird cast a pall over her mood. Both Izzy and Frank were totally cowed by her anger. Yet the late comers would soon arrive, and like everyone who appears that these parties, there would be some interesting tales told.
The youngest member of the late arrivers is from Russian, adopted by American parents many years ago, and they all but had to bribe everyone but Boris Yelstin to get him out, and flew directly into a snowstorm back here in the states, and rented a SUV to drive three days home, in the snow. The brother of this young man is from MIT and did a study on how diving spider can live underwater and carry small bubble of oxygen with them. The Scotch blurred most of the finer points, I fear, so I cannot relate to you most of what I learned. The Last member of the Party was a young women who went to Bali on an exchange program from North Carolina, where she auditioned for a Looney Tune Cartoon in the ice. ( Long story, trust me)
The Spider Diver brought fireworks, and Frank tried to herd them until he was restrained, we played beer pong, and suddenly realized that the year, and the party, was drawing to a close. Champaign was popped, a countdown began, and 2010 arrived with hugs, and fanfare for all, except Frank was still restrained.
I promised to keep secrets, and have, and will, yet I still remember them, as the Scotch allowed. With my last string of firecrackers tossed from the window as I drove into the moonlit night, I said good bye to yet another wonderful end of the year party at Sea Pond.