Saturday, January 03, 2015

New Year's Resolution

On New Year's Eve the other night I went downtown and stood in a crowd to watch the big Rolex clock tower in front of the Lebanese parliament strike midnight.

The clock is at the center of a round-about and the whole circle was thronging with excited people. The air was full of anticipation as they blew horns and cheered. Some started setting off firecrackers as the moment ticked closer. At the ten minute mark the crowed swelled in unison, clambering as close as the ring of M-16 toting ISF troops around the clock would let them. When it got down to a couple minutes I expected a count-down to start.

But there wasn't one. The clock had no second hand and made no noise. The minute hand is big enough it's hard to tell the exact moment a number is reached, and no one in any of the buildings was showing any kind of display with the numbers. So the nervous excitement just escalated and escalated until I finally looked down at my phone to find out when I could expect the climax and realized it was 12:02, 2015. The crowed seemed to have missed it.

After five or ten minutes it started to disperse in an agitated whirlpool motion heading back off the round-about, past the army checkpoints and out toward the nightclubs and bars in Gemayzeh and Mar Mkhail. Still I felt like there hadn't been any resolution. I guess maybe resolution is what they were all looking for.

I just gave up trying to find it and went home early.

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