i returned home to pack, and got some rest too because i couldn't get hold of protoplasm. when he finally returned my call he gave me directions that seemed simple enough and i jumped in the car and rolled out. driving along the coastal mountain road into the sunset was magnificent!
a slight mistake in the directions had me in the right place convinced that i was completely lost, but i soon found my way. the venue was a beautiful house in the heart of hout bay, i arrived just in time to jump in the pool to cool off and begin meeting all the really interesting people. it was awkward at first, as meeting new people usually is for me, but within a couple of hours it was clear that protoplasm's assessment that we'd all get along famously was entirely accurate. there was even one guy i went to school with who finally realized that i've evolved since those days and could be talked to without reservation :)
the actual countdown and cheers and things wasn't particularly interesting, loads of handshakes and hugs and cheers and chugs.
in mid-conversation standing next to a table beneath a ledge, someone on the ledge accidentally kicked over a crate filled with glass bottles in our direction. nothing broke and nobody was injured, but for a time i was trapped in a surreal state wherein i existed both in this timeline and the one in which there were terrible consequences.
one of the guys is an advocate for israel and he initiated a political discussion that got more involved and interesting as the night progressed, others joined in and things took a more philosophical and psychological turn, and by the end of the night we were discussing love and relationships and i realized that i'd never spent party-time in such an enjoyably cerebral fashion. very cool people indeed.
one guy wasn't being cool, though. i was sitting in front of the fire after sunrise and he was popping balloons by holding them over the fire. every pop led a cloud of ash to rise and blow into my face, which bothered me and i let him know. he picked up a water pistol and proceeded to shoot the fire, which had the same effect as the balloons popping. i moved to a different seat and rediscovered my innate ability to generate a large amount of guilt verbally with little effort. he finally stopped that shit.
after a glorious three hour nap on the couch, i got up to breakfast and help with the cleanup, along with protoplasm and a couple of the girls (one who lives there and made breakfast, the other who appears to be in protoplasm's sights). the black keys were playing in the background, it was all very perfect for a post-party january first.
and then it was time for a cup of ricoffy (quite the nostalgic taste) to get me ready to drive home and then out to the farm.