last/first

On Wednesday afternoon I decided the best way to ring in 2015 would be to get upset about something spectacularly stupid. Okay well I didn't exactly decide, but the end result would have been the same if I had: an early evening argument with my date that escalated unnecessarily, since I was still hours away from enacting my two most important resolutions: 

1) to care more about what really matters
2) to let go, let go, let go

Have you ever gotten in a fight with your significant other right before you're supposed to head out to some event? It's the worst. You're worked up with all this emotion and meanwhile the clock is ticking and you know that if you don't resolve things quickly or just drop it, the night will be ruined. As usual, Terence got to the high road first. "Let's just shelve it, okay? Let's just go have fun."

I felt weird about that and said as much, because pretending I'm okay isn't in my skill set, and jumping from harsh words back to kind ones within a matter of seconds is fucking hard for me. But there was Terence, calmly holding up signs that said RIGHT WAY and LAUGHTER AHEAD, so I took a deep breath and merged slowly into his lane.

After a little while, after a last-minute outfit change by me, a Lyft ride to the venue, a ten minute wait in the shivering cold to get in, another five minute wait in the coat check line, trips to the ATM and the bar, the tension between us dissipated and we settled into the scene. This process may or may not have been assisted by two little blue capsules I picked up at Pinkman's Black Friday sale. (As we knew it would be, and as made it easier to shelve the disagreement. It's hard to keep a frown on your face when the lap bar comes down on the roller coaster.)

Bit of a shit show, really. Multiple open bars meant that by the time we got there most of the crowd was over served and quickly approaching wasted. We caught all of Classixx, who announced the new year and then basically jetted after a forty-minute set, and later a portion of Blood Orange (intriguing if bizarre) - but other than that the music was mostly a disappointing, pandering mix of 90s hip hop and trap.

But: pharmaceuticals.

One of the best effects of (certain) pharmaceuticals is their ability to take you out of yourself completely. Out of your body, out of your thoughts. You drift up to a higher plane with a much, much wider perspective. Suddenly things come into view that were invisible an hour before, like Wow are you lucky to be in such a loving relationship and Wow do petty things not fucking matter.

Even stone cold sober, Terence is an unbelievably affectionate and demonstrative guy. High he's Romeo in black jeans. Romeo and I escaped the crush and found some space for ourselves towards the back of the upstairs ballroom. We danced and grinned at one another as we swam through the deepest waves (because at a certain point, speech becomes impossible and it's all you can do to keep air in your lungs) and just took it all in: the night, each other, the time behind us and the year ahead.

Lights flickering across us, laughter and happy chaos bouncing off the bubble around us, I thought about everything I want to accomplish over the next twelve months. Less a list to be ticked off then a trajectory I want to launch myself on, the landing pad of which I hope will see a more peaceful, more Zen, more open-hearted Ellie.

The feels got the better of me and even though I knew I should keep these promises to myself, I heard myself sharing them. "I want my inside to be as as beautiful to you as my outside," I babbled semi-coherently, a silly thing to say because Terence never makes me feel that the latter is my stronger suit. I guess I feel that way, though, because there I was saying it.

I don't remember what he said in return, but I do remember his expression, which was soft - both an acknowledgment and a refusal, like he understood what I was trying to say, but that also I am okay, to him, just as I am.

We stayed until two-thirty, when the party devolved into something resembling the last hour of a wedding reception. Girls on stage wearing less than I could comprehend, considering the weather. Dudes so obliterated and slack-jawed that in their suits and loosened ties they looked like more like stock brokers after a crash than NYE revelers. Time to go.

Back in the coat check line, the crowd thinning around us, I was suddenly overcome with an urgent need to make sure the next day's slate was completely clean. "Hey, Terence," I said, because it seemed important to use his name. "I'm sorry about today. That was really fucking stupid." And of course, black-jeaned Romeo received this as he would, with grace, a dimple, and a kiss.

---

We spent New Year's Day entirely out of the house. We picked up croissants and coffee and took them up to the roof with Chaucer, where we found the scene of devastation we used for this. After we ate we started walking. We walked and walked and walked some more. A cat-sitting visit to a friend's, then an ambling trip all around downtown, just to enjoy the rare LA cold snap. FIDM, Staples Center, the Ritz-Carlton, then over to the arts district for a dinner of sausages and beer. We took pictures of the city, of Christmas trees (and the garden variety), of ourselves and one another. Tiny blue molecules still floating through our bloodstream, we felt contended, connected, and cuddly in the chilly night air.

It was the coldest, cleanest-feeling January 1st on record.