Avoided Apocalypse; Bah Hum (Y2K) Bug

I know it sounds sick but a part of me was hoping the world would end. I felt ready for it, readier than I ever had before: I’d just finished therapy, my most recent interactions with my family members had all been pretty positive, and best of all, I finally had a boyfriend. So when he and I counted down from ten to one in front of the boob tube and the ball dropped with no accompanying explosions other than fireworks, I let out a little sigh of disappointment. If the world wasn’t going to end I was still hoping a couple hundred people were going to die in a Times Square bomb blast so I could watch it all on TV and for once feel glad I lived in Brooklyn.

So as Sting started to sing his new single, the couples began to smooch, and the confetti went up in the air, I kept staring hopefully at the screen, waiting for some late-reflex suicide bomber to bust onto the scene and decimate. I didn’t want to stare at Herr Giuliani looking all self-satisfied and Satanic as the clocks changed without any major mayhem. I wanted to see him spontaneously combust. But sad to say, it was no go.

“Happy millennium, buttercup,” said Paul, kissing me on the cheek.

“Whatever,” I said, pouting.

“What’s the matter?” “I know tonight passed without any crisis – but terrorism is a real and awful threat. It’s only a matter of time before a major American city is bombed. It makes a really sad statement about humanity.”

“You could be hit by a bus any day on the street. A bomb’s not any different.”

“Oh, but it is! People have no morals nowadays. Children are shooting other children and everyone is so selfish. The world used to be decent and just but now it’s a bastion of sin.”

What kind of lame-o spends New Years alone with her S.O., in an outer borough ?

I don’t think the world’s so bad,” he said. “Look at all those happy people out there.” I stared at the telly listlessly. People were jubilant. I wanted to puke. “Things were much worse during medieval times than they are now,” he said.”Maybe you’re right,” I said, remoting off the TV and sighing. I felt agitated, on edge, and pissed — but I wasn’t sure why. He and I had just spent a blissful evening eating a decadent meal, then watching Superfly and The Last Detail on video. I was in love, the world had gone on, and I had at least another half a century to live. I was supposed to feel grateful, not bitter.Then it finally hit me why I was so mad. I’d orchestrated an entire quiet evening for the two of us, in my place, in Brooklyn — all because I was so convinced it was the only way we’d get through alive. But now that everyone else had survived too, I just felt like a loser. What kind of lame-o spends New Year’s alone with her S.O., in an outer borough ?My friend Sarah was at some party on the Kennedy compound in Miami Beach — maybe I should have tried to tag along. I could have gone to Sandra Bernhard with my friend Joan. Or flown to Paris, just for the hell of it. Or let Paul throw a bash at his place in the East Village, which he wanted to do but I insisted he not — in the interest of safety.

And although Hal Ashby and Gordon Parks Jr. were two great filmmakers, did I really want to tell my great grandchildren I’d spent New Year’s 1999 watching ’70s films? What kind of a bonehead would they think I was? At the very least I should have mounted Paul on the couch during the countdown. But my nose was stuffed and I live in a street-level studio apartment, which meant revelers would have been able to watch, and to be totally honest, I just wasn’t in the mood.

But then I looked over at Paul’s pale blue eyes, and I thought about how cool it was that we got to see two movies that showed Times Square before the neon, and I started to feel a little better. I imagined Joan at the Westbeth listening to Sandra’s way-too-clever pop cultural deconstruction, and Sarah racing down a beach in Miami to get away from some drunken Kennedy and I realized maybe I didn’t have it so bad. I’d survived the millennium eve boredom- and vomit-free — and I’d still be able to remember it the next morning. I shut the window and pulled down the blinds, and then I kissed Paul on the mouth and we went to bed.