It’s New Year’s Eve. You’ve always hated it, the idea of a date where everybody is obliged to celebrate and have a good time. It’s ludicrous, puerile even. You vow that this year, for once, you will stay at home and not bow to the pressure. You will have a cup of tea, settle down and watch Netflix.
But the show isn’t as good as your friends said it was. The plot stretches credulity and the main character’s affected mannerisms are annoying. It wears thin. Bored, you check your phone. Pictures of sunny beaches and mountain vistas assault your senses: parties, bars, restaurants too… Your friends are all having fun, without you.
This is exactly what you were trying to avoid, the creeping panic, the nauseating feeling that YOU ARE MISSING OUT. You know it’s beneath you, but you can’t help it. You want to have fun too.
Cold sweat dampening your neck and back, you hurriedly check to see what’s on. There’s a NYE orphans party down the road, but your ex is going… Definitely not there. You hurriedly ring your bestie up the coast – maybe you can make it there in time – but their excrutiatingly sunny voice mail informs you they “can’t make it to the phone right now!”
Panicking now, you resort to the gig guide, and find there – SALVATION! That’s right, the Richter City Rebels are playing at Havana Bar. You see friends, friends of friends, and attractive people you’ve been meaning to ingratiate yourself with, all going. They’re enthusiastic, gushing, they are going to HAVE FUN. The music will be loud – loud enough perhaps to drown out the voices – and there will be beer, wine, cocktails, whatever you need to get you through to that accursed count-down.
Sighing with relief, your heart-rate now slowing to near-normal, you move your thumb over that sacred button, and click…