The Last New Year’s Eve

The last time I went out to celebrate New Year’s Eve was one of the worst and weirdest nights of my life. Back  then I lived in Buffalo, New York. I had graduated from Buffalo State College the prior year. I had a run down studio apartment a couple blocks from the banks of the mighty Niagara River, and worked a dead end temp. job at some factory.

Luckily, one of my best friends from my college days still lived in the city, and we decided to go check out a few of our favorite local bands on New Year’s Eve at a bar/concert venue called The Continental. The place had the reputation for being the ‘goth/metal/industrial’ music center of Buffalo back in the 1990’s. It was a stark contrast to the trendy and posh dance clubs and high end bars nearby. The Continental was the kind of place where we felt comfortable, friends’ bands played there often enough,  and it was a bit of a legendary spot among our crowd.

When we got down there, parking was a joke. My friend drove us down there in her car that night, and opted to pay for a parking spot at a local auto repair shop a few blocks from The Continental. Now this wasn’t a large lot nor was it professionally managed by a parking company. It was just some local business dude that was taking advantage of the holiday to make some quick and easy cash. Directly in front of my friend’s car, after we parked, was another building. So essentially the only way out of that spot was to back out. There’s no way to get out otherwise. Keep that in mind for later.

So, after begrudgingly coughing up the cash for the parking spot to the half-drunk ‘attendant’, we headed off to The Continental. We had a great time watching all the bands, and the rest of the festivities that come with New Year’s Eve.

At some point after midnight we decided to the call it a night, and headed back for the car. That’s when this night took a strange turn. When I saw the blood, a lot of  blood, like whoever was cut must’ve been spurting it like a horror movie, splattered all over the sidewalk outside a business a few doors down, I knew things were bad. Other then the gore there was no sign of anyone or anything to indicate what had happened. My friend freaked, and we hastily headed back to where we parked.

When we got back to the parking lot, we were both relieved, but it was snuffed out when we saw that some asshole parked his big ass pickup truck right behind my friend’s car. His fender was only a few inches from our back bumper. We were literally pinned between the jack ass’ truck and the brick wall of a building.

My friend freaked the fuck out, total panic mode. I spotted a cop a quarter of a block away and drew his attention to our situation. Buffalo’s Finest’s only response was ‘that’s your problem’. He was totally unwilling to have the vehicle towed or anything. He did try the door to see if it was unlocked with the idea of putting it in neutral and pushing it out of the way. Of course, the doors were locked. So the cop walked off to continue doing  fuck all, and left us stranded. The attendant for the lot was long gone. There was a phone number on the repair shop’s window, but this was back in the day before cell phones were a common thing. Even if we had a cell phone or found a payphone I bet the number would’ve only been for the phone in the shop.

So, we decided to wait it out with the hopes that the shit head that blocked our car would come back, sine the majority of people were headed home. Since it was cold and snowy out we headed down the street to a local coffee house called The Spot. Luckily, they’re open 24/7. We got something hot and sobering to drink and tried to chill out. My friend was still in full freak out mode and I did my best to calm her down. If memory serves she had to go to work the next afternoon and needed her car for her commute.

As we sat there nursing our coffee, a parade of gaudily dressed and drunken middle aged women came through the coffee house. The shrillness of their laughter and their obnoxious voices were worse then the grating of fingernails down a chalkboard. The irony was that they looked like the type that only went out once a year and spent the other 364 days of the year looking down their noses at everyone else.

After an hour or so we headed back to our parking spot with the hopes that the d-bag driver of the pickup was gone. But Luck had a strange sense of humor that night, since the piece of shit truck was still there. Sobriety and the lingering cop kept up from doing anything to the truck, although it was still tempting to do ‘something’ to it.

We ended up calling a cab and got home at some godawful hour. I think we were both physically and emotionally exhausted. It’s still hard for me to comprehend why someone would park like that behind us. Were they just total assholes that didn’t care? Why would the attendant allow it? Did he only care about filling the lot and making even more money? I’d like to think that the d-bag with the pickup truck parked there illegally after the attendant left for the night. Some people are truly callous and apparently we found the grand champion of them that night when the pickup driver parked behind us.

My friend decided to catch the bus downtown early the next morning, only to discover too late that the buses were on a holiday schedule and only ran a few times that day.So she wasted half her day waiting for the bus to show up.  She finally managed to get down there and get her car.

That was the last time I went out for a New Year’s Eve, and as far as I know my friend never went out again. I’m content to stay home and watch some Netflix and drink a few beers. Like my boss says about New Year’s Eve, ‘it’s amateur night’. I think he’s right, and they’re welcomed to it.




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