I Kissed a Stranger and I Liked It (Kinda)

“What a night for a dance, you know I’m a dancing machine…”

Kings of Leon sang over 100,000 of us out of 2015. They rocked and licked guitars in front of a kaleidoscope videoscreen and images of old souther summers danced around them as sepia silent films. On Broadway, we celebrated shoulder to shoulder somewhere between 1920 and 2016, and nobody seemed to mind. 
Staring at the Nashville sky behind Kings of Leon and the music note that descended steadily toward midnight, the city reveled in this little moment of infinite happiness. 
 I noticed the male nurse that stood on the other side of my friend Meredith strategically make his way behind her, around her, and toward me. 
I have three very strange, paralyzing fears: puppets, puking, and kissing in public. 
And I knew which fear I was about to face. 
The whole street, crowded end to end from the river to the road counted down and erupted into cheers as the note dropped, people climbed light poles, and confetti rained down from the balconies and sky. I fell in love with that moment and this year. But my little fear prickled at the back of my mind. 
Like most girls, I had dreamed of a New Year’s kiss. But I dreamed about it the way I imagined myself dancing in public- I was brazen and bold with my hairdryer and bathroom mirror, but stiff as frozen, frosted glass anywhere else. 
It was time to face the clock. 
I clasped the confetti in my pocket, closed my eyes, and giddily marked that one off my fear and bucket list. I felt my other friend Elizabeth’s eyes frozen on me, and willed the blush away from my cheeks, pretending not to notice. 
Head tilted toward the smoke and stars, I grasped at more confetti with the same elation I imagine filled Harry Potter as he jumped on the coffee table reaching for his swarm of Hogwarts letters. We were determined to catch and keep as much magic as our hands and pockets could fit. 

“…All the while I was dreaming of revelry.” 

So far so good, 2016.


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