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December 31, 2011


9405 Heath Avenue, ClevelandWhen I was a kid growing up on Heath Avenue on Cleveland's East Side, on New Year's Eve at midnight we'd go outside banging on pots and pans to announce the new year, meeting our neighbors doing the same.

We lived in the white house with the car in the driveway. It didn't look as nice back then, covered with shabby brown Insul-brick, an unfortunate style of siding installed by the previous owners.

My parents talked about upgrading to the latest and greatest: aluminum siding, but never did.

I'd forgotten how tiny the Plank's house was, now abandoned and boarded up. On the other side, the Plastine's house looks better than ever. They never joined our New Year's celebration, probably were already in bed.

But why the compulsion to celebrate a new year anyway? I didn't get it then, and I still don't. Maybe I'm not an optimistic person, so I don't see it as a welcome fresh start. Or maybe I'm more optimistic than most and see no reason to celebrate the ending of the previous year. In fact, I'm at a point that time seems to move so damn fast anyway I don't want to think about it.

But happy new year anyway.

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