Monday, January 2, 2012
New Year's in Nashville
These are scenes of sunset, New Year's Day 2012. I had the day off, if one can call a day off a day spent working from midnight to 7 am. And that is how a day off is defined in Hospital Land.
I, along with fifty percent of the bedside nurses in this country, worked New Year's Eve. The other fifty percent worked New Year's Day. And at midnight December 31st, I looked out a fifth floor window and saw the fireworks display from downtown. This was a truncated, blink or you'll miss it affair that did not last more than 10 seconds. Perhaps the city came up short after paying for the fleet of shuttles and buses that ferried the drunks home safely after the music note dropped from the stage top at midnight ,and after Lynard Skynard stopped singing "Sweet Home Alabama" to a crowd on Lower Broad.
After that it was all epilogue as taxis by the dozen went up and downtown. The "Jack in the Box" on Broadway- Nashville's equivalent to Delmonico's or Maxim's- opened at midnight for cabs, and people fleeing on foot, and stretch limousines. The line at the takeout window went all the way back out to the road. All this I could see from the window of the break room where one of the respiratory therapists was live streaming her pastor's sermon from Old Hickory over her Smart phone. The pastor, and his gospel choir and the thousand in attendance, had more stamina than the fireworks display did. The minister preached from seven till midnight about Destiny in 2012. The therapist told me her pastor wanted to offer people something other than" going out to the clubs". "He doesn't even care if you're white", she said, "He wants everyone to come to his church".
And the night became an ordinary night. And the morning an ordinary Sunday with more street people than cars. An elderly woman with a walker, an old man with a cane. What they owned- carried in plastic bags as they crossed the street near the Holiday Inn Vanderbilt. The runners were out. They always are. Wearing shorts and joyless expressions. They did not look as though they expected 2012 to be any be any better than 2011.