Week of March 6th, 2022: “Things we must do.”
“The first millennial.”
It was near midnight on December 31st, 1999, and as the world stood on the precipice of unprecedented transformational change, I wandered off to be alone.
The separation between me and the group of drunken, beach-chair seated adolescents encircled around the late-evening bonfire, many of whom I had considered to be among my closest friends, became all the more apparent as the distance between us continued to grow as I climbed over the top of the jetty wall and descended down onto the section of smooth rock that protruded out above the water during low tide. I sat down on the jagged jetty rock surface slightly imbibed myself and looked out at the oceans waves, the tranquil sea before me a midnight shade of blue as the dwindling embers of the celebratory bonfire continued to evaporate underneath the shadow of the crescent moon’s silver glow. I leaned toward the edge of the water, trying to catch a glimpse of my reflection in the water’s shimmering surface, yet, as I drew in closer I was surprised to find myself not faced off against an image of my own reflection, but rather, a reflection of the universe itself — everything that has ever existed in it’s infinity : I saw many things at once, forever passed me by in an instant…
I saw the ancient past and the morning sun. I also saw all of the horrors and all of the good that we have done. I saw a burgeoning generation excited at all of the good things that they hoped to come. I saw the colors on the faces of seven billion different people, and I felt the restless energy and unbridled optimism that comes once every million years
I saw night and day, peace and war, right and wrong, love and hate, life and death, sorrow and hope. I saw iPhones and facebook and email and tweeter, and snapchat and insta. I saw charitable donations and groups of people that rallied to organize to help those in need after natural disasters. I saw political scandals, and cover-ups, truth and lies, and the lies we tell ourselves in order to live our own truths. I saw dietary fads and new-wave forms of creative artistic expression conveyed through literary novellas. I saw fire and rain and ice and snow. I watched as time itself etched it’s way across the background of a bright blue sky and rained down a soothing elixir of infinite possibilities in the form of soft summer rain that poured down over an open field populated by all the members of a unified global community.
I saw allies and enemies, family and friends. I saw all of my grandparents and all of my cousins too, and my best friend, and my dogs, Perry and Yogi, and David Bowie sliding across the sky on a rainbow made of glitter. I saw Margaret Thatcher and Nikola Tesla parking a Pyrus at the corner of 143rd and 5th ave., on their way to split a schnitzel. The entire roster of the 1998 World Champion New York Yankees team was there, so too for the future ghosts of John Wayne and B.B. King. I saw my grandfather teaching me a lesson about forgiveness, and the Pope- wearing a pair of bergdorf sandals, proselytizing a group of uninterested teenagers in a broken Peruivan accent that sounded more like a drunk Russian trying to speak Portuguese than it did discernible Spanish. I saw a Jaguar and a Tiger patrolling along the shores of an uninhabited beach coastline. I saw my future wife and our unborn daughter patching together a star-bannered quilt made from family heirlooms.
I saw peace in our time.
A loud noise erupted from the sky and I looked up to see the nighttime fireworks as they ushered in the celebration at the arrival of another new year. I watched the fireworks burst throughout the sky above the spot in the ocean, where, for some reason, the Universe had chosen to open up and reveal all these things to me-yet when I directed my attention back down from the sky it was only just in time to watch as the image of the infinite universe that had appeared before me began to disappear — sinking down beneath the water to the bottom of the ocean, vanishing out of view as soon as the fireworks subsided. Back on the beach, the bonfire celebration continued on throughout the night as the late evening hours eventually gave way to the first rays of the suns early morning light.
The much anticipated dawning of the second millennium had arrived.