They are prepared. They’ve dabbed perfume between their thighs, ripped the hair off their upper lips, strapped on heels meant for stages. They’ve tucked rubbers into their wallets, washed their balls with peppermint soap, withdrawn enough cash for anything. For drugs, women. Paying off a cop. They don’t know what exactly, but they can feel it coming, the adrenaline humming in their stomachs.
They’ve gathered at the clock to watch one year become the next, to see what they can glean from this final hour. Boys hurl fireworks that clear bald spots on the street, fireworks the crowd sees coming because faces are turned up, waiting for the clock’s hands to move from reclined to fully erect.
The cheer is unanimous for the girl who delivers, the one who is sober enough to climb the “Don’t Walk” light yet drunk enough to flash her tits. The crowd is relieved someone has finally mounted something. To this they raise their bottles, their plastic cups of champagne. MoreMoreMore, they chant and shove closer like believers vying to be beamed up first, like she is there to save them, to climb atop the clock itself and fuck the life out of its death march.
The Captain Asks for a Show of Hands