For One Brief Shining Moment pt 2

Evening came upon me on New Year’s Eve and I prepared myself to head downtown to LoDo (Lower Downtown, downtown Denver) by eating some antihistamines, gulping down a boilermaker and lighting up a couple pipes full. Bus rides were being offered for free that evening to help cut down the number of drunk drivers on the road. I pocketed a few of those mini bar sized bottles of bourbon and pipe and hopped on the first bus heading west to the party on 16th street.

16th Street is a pedestrian traffic (plus shuttle bus and horse drawn carriage) stretch that runs approximately 14 blocks, filled with a variety of street life on an average day, quite a large variety on New Year’s Eve. Families, young couples, young singles and the typical group of thugs were roaming the sidewalks in search to find where the real action was at. Every block appeared to be setting up a small disco mosh stomping area for people to dance the night away but it was too forced upon the masses, too early to strip off your clothes and go wild. Vendors set up shop at each intersection selling 2012 flashing rave glasses and loud horns to add to the festivities. The real hard core drinking had yet to start so I decided to take a commemorative picture before diving head first into the swarm. A building marked as the World Trade Center stood before me and I noticed some young Japanese teenagers taking each other’s photos next to the sign. Good photo op for me so I shooed them away and grabbed the closest person to me to use my camera to take a shot. The nearest person to me was a Russian man who had very little grasp of English, but I managed to hand signal my way to explain I wanted him to take my picture. After the picture was snapped I assured him I would report his kind efforts to the Russian Embassy which made him feel happy, yet perplexed.

The night continued to unveil mild curiosity to me; bottles of Kim Jong Il soda on sale, a blind woman standing next to me enjoying the fireworks display, little girls in tiaras dancing with their parents, but the most precious moment of all came when I crossed to the corner of 16th and California where a small group of Krishnas were dancing and singing.  I have seen this a number of times at different airports and college campuses so the sight didn’t really startle me. People began slowly walking to the outer perimeter of the circle and watched. People took photos, then started mocking the dancing and chanting, but then became caught up in the rhythmic thumping of the Balarama drum and the clashing of finger cymbals and joined in with the religious entourage. Old and young alike began to hop to the music and dance about with the Krishnas. I found myself caught up in the moment and began dancing with them as well. Shit eating smiles ran across the crowd and we all dropped our inhibitions and differences for one brief shining moment and became a group filled with happiness and joy for one another. This went on for a good 5 minutes and at the end a loud cheer went out as those pulled into the circle slowly dissipated and went their separate ways taking with them feelings of goodness.

My hope for the new year is that more of us will be caught up in moments of companionship and oneness with our fellow citizens and not be like the type of person that took the lives on Colfax the day before. I hope for a world where religious differences can be put aside and we can cohabitate with one another just as I and a bunch of Lutherans and Baptists and Ganstas and college nerds did with the Krishnas. There’s a lot of political shit fuming round the world right now that wants to plot people against one another but my hope is that comradery will overpower opposition and we all work together to make this world a better, safer place for our children to live in.

…and make a fucking flying car.

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