Every New Year’s Eve Boyfriend and I go to Catalina Island to celebrate an old year – heavy with disappointment and achievement – and to welcome a new year that is as light and empty as a bubble. We go to the Casino for the buffet dinner, always too embarrassed to go for seconds,
to dance, drink and to chase the rogue balloons that fall from the ceiling at midnight. We make merry with the other partygoers whom are foolish enough to welcome the passage of time.
With the recent rains, we hope to see a green, lush island. We will take the tour through the hills and trees and hopefully see the buffalo standing in the road, staring the bus down with their brown, bovine eyes, steadily chewing the new grass. Maybe we’ll see mule deer, and quail and the one or two bald eagle couples living on the island.
Boyfriend, of course, will surf.
We will do what we usually do when we visit the island, with the exception of one thing. This year, Catalina has installed its own Zip Line. I have never been on a zip line, and for a very good reason. It’s called Fear, and like many people I prefer to avoid it. However. We have purchased our tickets and we will go.
This line consists of five runs – one which will drop from 500 to 60 feet above sea level, with a length of 1,100 lineal feet. Speed will approach 45 miles per hour. Five runs – five stations. At each station you will be unhitched then re-harnessed before you continue – still screaming – on your next run. You will also be given a presentation on some ‘interesting aspects of Catalina Island History’ while those requiring the ministrations of a psychiatrist will be tended to.
I’ve read over the fact sheet and have noticed the small print: ‘And for those who have submitted their soul to the Baby Jesus while on our run, you may pick up your free Bible on your way out. For those who have begun to speak in tongues, we have the Latin Vulgate Bible available for a nominal free.’
So, yes, I’m afraid of this thing. But I’m going because, frankly, I don’t think that fear is enough. In a way, I need more proof.
The new year affects me the same way. Is fear of the unknown enough to suspend all anticipation and hope? Or do we need more? Shall we spit in the face of the new year’s nameless fears until they become solid and known: then run like hell…if we decide to?
Happy New Year…and here’s to its New Fear!