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When I was a kid, on New Year's Eve, my brother and I would have our photo taken holding a festive poster we'd drawn. "Happy New Year -- 1957," or "1958," or "1959." I can't recall why we were so happy to welcome the new year. Did we expect great things from the next 52 weeks? Did we feel a sense of accomplishment at having grown a year older? Were we excited at having reached another way station along the road to wherever it was we were going, or imagined we were going?

Recently I have been happy enough to see the back of the old year, but not particularly inclined to look down the road since the most interesting thing I'm likely to see is its end.

Time seems a funny thing to celebrate. Sure, it's part of the fabric of the universe but do we pop the champagne corks for space or break out the blow ticklers in honor of gravity?

I suppose you could say that we are made of time. Our lives are what happens. Our very thoughts require the happening of something, a change of state, what we call time. In an eternal present there is no experience.

But then that's just me. An old misery guts and worse, a philosophical old misery guts. The year turns and I'm brooding about the changes in my brain states. I should be happy to get drunk and watch the big ball descend on Times Square and fire a shotgun in the air. Then I'd have something to celebrate.

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