I guess I've been fooling myself, pretending with so much effort that there for a little while I actually believed it. I actually believed that it might be different this time.
But the hour looms nearer. The alcohol in my body fogs my senses even as it magically makes things more clear. I can see the truth. I know what's about to happen.
The same thing that happened on the past two occurrences of this date.
This little annual ceremony of mine has been polluted and corrupted. It's not even close to what it once was. It used to be something I'd look forward to. Ring out the old, usher in the new. Crap like that. It was kind of fun.
And now, now it's nothing more than a séance. Intensified, surely, because of the date, but otherwise no different than any of the dozens that preceded it this year.
In less than an hour, it begins again.