hu­mour The New Year’s Eve of your (not so) wildest dreams.

Monica Heisey’s fan­tasy New Year’s Eve.

ELLE (Canada) - - #Storyboard - By Monica Heisey

five! Four! Three! Two! One! DING DING DINGGGGGGG... The wash­ing ma­chine goes off—my sheets are done. In a robe and slip­pers I stole from a fancy ho­tel, I pad across my empty apart­ment to re­trieve them and start the dryer. It’s go­ing to feel so good get­ting into bed with those warmedup sheets on this cold De­cem­ber 31. The clock reads 9:30 p.m.

Hours ear­lier, I’d texted my friends: “I don’t think I’m com­ing out tonight. In fact, I have al­ready do­nated my big NYE out­fit to a char­ity that pro­vides se­quined minidresses to women in need.” The replies came back in­stantly: “Fine with me!” “I love you and I sup­port your choice to take some time for your­self, es­pe­cially dur­ing the busy hol­i­day sea­son!” “We’ll miss you, but I’m not say­ing that to make you feel guilty or

pres­sure you into com­ing out. It’s im­por­tant to lis­ten to your body and understand your own needs. Your ab­sence will be noted but not re­sented, and we prom­ise not to post too many pho­tos on In­sta­gram where we look happy with­out you!!”

Af­ter a day spent not wait­ing in line for up­wards of 40 min­utes at the liquor store, I am also not wor­ry­ing about which bars have a lineup. Surge pric­ing on Uber is a dis­tant mem­ory from last year’s cel­e­bra­tions. To­day, I’m draw­ing a bath. I pour laven­der oil and Ep­som salts into the tub, leav­ing the bath­room door open be­cause my room­mates have al­ready left. My cat wan­ders in. “I ap­pre­ci­ate the work you put into car­ing for me, and I view us as friends,” she says in English. I scratch her head and get in the bath, which is the per­fect tem­per­a­ture.

I read in the bath for an hour or more; the pages of the book re­main as un­wrin­kled as my fin­gers. Out­side, I can faintly hear women com­plain­ing about their shoes and men yelling at their friends to just forget it, they’ve lost their coats and they wouldn’t be able to find them even if they could get back into the party. “Your Canada Goose is gone now, Kyle. It’s gone.” I spend ab­so­lutely no time making small talk with drunk peo­ple, abid­ing the com­pany of ter­ri­ble men be­cause they hap­pen to be stand­ing near the party’s snack ta­ble, or squat­ting above a urine-dap­pled toi­let that turns out to be com­pletely clogged. And I don’t have to lis­ten to peo­ple making awk­ward jokes about kiss­ing at mid­night.

Af­ter the bath, my skin is im­pos­si­bly smooth; my legs are still hairy, yet I don’t spend even a sec­ond wor­ry­ing about whether or not that’s sexy. I ap­ply a fa­cial mask and drink some wa­ter, which comes out of the tap tast­ing like a spa—the city, in re­sponse to my fre­quent let­ters, re­cently re­placed the last few inches of pipe with a hol­lowed-out cu­cum­ber. I eat a light, healthy snack, which is sat­is­fy­ing and does not leave me crav­ing sodium. I wash my mask off, and my eye­brows fill them­selves in be­fore my eyes, per­fectly fram­ing my dewy face.

When I walk into the bed­room, I see that my sheets have been moved from the dryer to the bed. My cat’s face pops up from a cor­ner of the du­vet. “I view you as a larger cat who has my ut­most re­spect,” she says, wink­ing as she tucks in the last cor­ner of the top sheet. The bed is per­fectly made. As the count­down be­gins, my phone rings. “Hope I didn’t wake you,” says my best friend, He­len Mir­ren. “I just wanted to re­mind you to visit soon—oh, and Happy New Year.” n

“I don’t think I’m com­ing out tonight. In fact, I have al­ready do­nated my big NYE out­fit to a char­ity that pro­vides se­quined minidresses to women in need.”

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