At the Meridien Hotel, New Year’s Eve:
We were on the tenth floor. Leigh figured out that the window in the room opened a few inches near the top; you’d turn the latch and the pane tilted in. It was just right, we thought, for dumping out a bag of confetti over the street. We watched the countdown on TV and then got to work.
What we didn’t count on was that the confetti would just slide down the slope of the glass to rest on the windowsill. We closed the window and stared out at the five-inch high pile of confetti sitting there like an abandoned hive. “Oh. Oh, well,” we said. We thought it would blow away in a few minutes.
We toasted everyone a Happy New Year. I’d met up with my friend Kristine and another friend for dinner and then I’d taken the subway two more stops to the hotel and there was champagne and this Frenchy hotel to make fun of and it was a good night. Only the confetti on the windowsill didn’t move. We kept going back over and tapping the glass. Someone opened the window again and we could hear the roar of lakefront air keening between the tall buildings. We closed the window again, hard. The confetti remained inert. I began to get very anxious. We’d wanted the confetti to toss itself gloriously through the wind like the fucking plastic bag in American Beauty, only of course more deliberately so, which I suppose is a very New Year’s Eve kind of concept.
Finally Leigh’s sister had the idea to take the sash off the terrycloth hotel bathrobe and dangle it out the window and drag the end of it back and forth across the windowsill. Most of the confetti was dislodged, and went somewhere else, and yay, that’s how 2003 started.