Thursday, January 1, 2009

Favorite New Year's Memory

Something rather far afield from politics, but definitely my favorite memory from New Years' Eve or Day.

His name was Kyle. I can tell you four things I learned in the first few hours of 2003 about Kyle:
  • While slapping his back, his friend loudly declared him to be "the pride of Nouwth Quincy".
  • Kyle was a heavyset 17-year old.
  • Kyle wads very excited about the New Year.
  • Kyle was also very, very drunk.

We met Kyle in Copley station on the Green Line as we waited to return home from First Night. He was easy to pick out because he was waving around his shirt, bellowing "Yankees Suck!". As it was before 2004, this chant definitely struck a chord with his fellow Bostonians, and soon the station was echoing with raucous chants of "Yankees Suck."

(Which all confused by two Canadian visitors, who needed explaining that we were not hating our own Americanness, but rather the baseball team.)

Kyle got off with us and several other people at Park Street to await the red line. This is when Kyle proceeded to do something awfully enjoyable: he decided to wish each person on the platform a "Happy Noo Yeahs". Individually. Several times. I myself shook his hand three times as he innocently shambled the length of the platform, back and forth, until the train arrived. I saw him at one point approach a group of travelers with the words "Now, who heah has not yet wished me a happy noo yeahs?".

And the encounter that I would love to have videotaped. A clash of cultures not far off from Columbus's first meeting with the Taino. Kyle came up to a girl just about his age who had invested seriously in the image of "I hate the world and everything in it, which is all phoney anyway". Combat boots. Camoflage miniskirt. Several layers of mascara and a punding set of earphones. But Kyle would not be dissuaded, and with a sweet hurt in his voice, he persisted in attempting to share his joy at the new year until finally the young lady acquiesced to exchange greetings.

By the time we approached Nowth Quincy, Kyle was asleep.

I write this not to make fun of Kyle. In all likelihood, he's the type of hard-working, hard-playing guy who makes Boston such a great city, such an honest city.. It was certainly the most authentic slice of Boston I have ever offered by friends, and every year we take time out to remember Kyle as we wish each other greetings for the new year.

So to you and yours, Happy Noo Yeahs.

No comments: