For Old Times Sake

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind!

Can you smell it? I can. The lingering scent of failure! It was grinning back at me from every corner of my flat that New Year’s Eve. It sat perched on my Warhol prints, even snuck in behind my good-luck ornament, an elephant, trunk pointing up for prosperity. The bitter smell of a broken heart 💔 Unlucky in love you’re thinking? Aren’t you? Well, I always thought so.

Still, I kept myself busy that New Year’s Eve drinking Toohey’s Dry, one bottle after another, not caring that every drop would go straight to my belly. Inside, not alone, everything stunk! Well, that’s how it felt!

For auld lang syne, my jo,
For auld lang syne.

Him? Funny you should ask! Well, he kept himself busy laying about, playing on his apps, occasionally looking somewhat blankly at his 🍎 tablet, like he’d done every night for the last three years. Was it an addiction? Maybe? I wasn’t sure. Was anyone even on the dating apps tonight? Oh, well it didn’t matter as I was too emotionally fucked to pop. Digital gadgets proved to to be entertaining in sickness…and in health, I thought to myself.

I spread almond fruit cheese over my cracker, turned on the TV set and settled down to watch Sydney’s New Years Eve Fireworks. A spectacular hosted by pop queen, Kylie Minogue. The theme that year – embrace! He did a bump while I opened a bottle of French Champagne. As the clock ticked over, fireworks danced across my 42-inch plasma TV, which was having a few issues, some sort of interference. ZZZZSssss!

I recall I thinking about love watching TV, I thought about absent friends too, and I thought about me. Crazy, dumb, cunt me!

We’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
For long, long ago.

At some point during the fireworks, I was reminded of Joan Lindsey’s ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock.’ How all the clocks stopped at exactly the same time in the story, and for a moment all the characters were neither here nor there! This was my Joan Lindsay moment; my time to stop, ponder what could have been as best I could, and then let it go.

The song Timebomb played along with the fireworks on TV and by the time Ms Minogue had reached the chorus, I had fired up my Samsung laptop. We’ll take a cup of kindness yet, I thought…for long, long ago

I searched Google…the movie poster of Picnic at Hanging Rock popped up. On the poster, Miranda, the angelic missing school girl from Appleyard College in the story, is disappearing mysteriously between the walls of a narrow cave. I clicked, and posted the image online.

“Everything begins and ends at exactly the right time and place.”

I remember, it popped up on Facebook just as the clock struck five minutes past twelve. Our time had stopped, ceased to exist…as lovers we were neither here nor there! 💔 I drank down my cheap Champagne and gently closed my laptop. New Year’s Day 2013! What a fucking year! I’d made it out alive, scarred but still breathing. At last, it was time to sing out loud!

And surely you’ll buy your pint-jug!
And surely I’ll buy mine!
And we’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

A note from the author – In 1788 the Robert Burns sent the poem ‘Auld Lang Syne’ to the Scots Musical Museum, indicating that it was an ancient song but that he’d been the first to record it on paper. The phrase ‘auld lang syne’ roughly translates as ‘for old times’ sake’, and the song is all about preserving old friendships and looking back over the events of the year.

The True Story Series. 

Checkout more work by Noel Anderson

Andy Warhol’s Fifteen Minutes of Fame

Splendour in the Grass