As the clock approached midnight, Santos realized he just might make it to the new year and lifted himself out of bed. Sylvia was at the window in her nightie watching the lights of the boats on the water. They heard footsteps on the dock and people gathering as the clock wound down . . . or was it up? Santos could never figure that out - at some point in life, the uphill climb maybe leveled out for awhile and then somewhere along the way actually became a downhill slope and then and then it was like that British character in Sun Also Rises who, when asked how one goes bankrupt, answers, two ways -slowly at first, then all at once.
Maybe that was it. Why did Santos suddenly remember that line from 40 years ago, in a book written in the 20's, as he stood in the window with midnight approaching next to a woman he'd been with for 43 years?
Down on the dock, a voice shouted - Happy New Year! And another answered - Happy New Year to you! And the fireworks were shot off the Embarcadero in the City and if you looked just right, peering through the windows of a two story house boat down the way you could see brightness against the dark sky, a showering of red and blue and gold as rockets peaked, exploded, and descended in remnants of color. . . Santos reached for Sylvia. She smiled, so lovely in the moonlight, as they kissed and welcomed in another new year together.