{ the year 2000 }

When the clock struck midnight I found myself twenty-six years old. I can't remember when I first figured out how old I'd be in the year two thousand, but I remember thinking it was as far away as the mountains.

Years later I figured out they weren't that far away at all – they were just obscured behind the LA smog.

So it seemed fitting to welcome the new year – the great 2000 – on a similar mountain in San Francisco. It was more of a hill, really. A place the locals call either "Tank Hill" or "Acid Hill" depending on how old they were in the sixties.

When the clock struck midnight I was surrounded by friends, launching bottle rockets and champagne corks out over the city I love. We sung "Auld Lang Syne" out loud and someone handed us the actual lyrics. An old lady waved her flashlight in time with us.

We all kissed as fireworks lit up the city, making silhouettes out of the skyscrapers of downtown. Behind those buildings, 250,000 revelers howled in the new year – less than expected, but enough to make a hell of a noise, I'm told.

I'd thought about joining the throng, but decided to give my heart what it craved instead – a few close friends, a few bottles of champagne, an explosive or two, and the word "hope" burning into the night.

Happy new year,


Where were you when the clock struck midnight?