“Where the fuck did 2020 go?” Ernie asks at a quarter to midnight, his fat face filling my phone’s touchscreen.
I’ve been dozing unsuccessfully with the TV on, waiting for the Other Shoe to drop (New York has the ball; San Angelico has a giant inflatable shoe), but now I sit up in bed, picking up my phone, rubbing my face, ruffling my hair. “Forget 2020—where did today go?”
“It literally feels like just yesterday I was fully-clothed and dry.”
“But somehow it’s also like we’ve been twelve-going-on-thirteen since August 6, 2008.”
Ernie looks thoughtful. “Right? Shouldn’t we all be in our twenties and boning mad bitches by now?”
“Somehow I don’t think Eva would be into that.”
“You know what I mean, jungle butt.”
“If you say so.” I yawn.
“Would you believe I found another pubic hair today?”
“One day smooth as a cue ball, the next I’ve got Velcro crotch. Man, it’s all downhill from here. Wet dreams, shaving, acne pads, condoms…” Ernie shakes his head. “The fuck is up with time passing so quickly? I feel like Julian Glover drinking from the wrong cup at the end of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.” Doing an exaggerated impression, he screams, “What…is…happening to me??”
“You’re getting old, Matrix,” I laugh. “You’re getting old.”
Ernie talks some more about pubic hair, semen, and puberty in general. I just kind of zone out, staring at the TV and watching a live night shot of downtown. The city’s set up a two-hundred-foot-tall shaft with the Other Shoe, its sparkling finish foot-lit and gleaming beacon-like, sitting suspended at the very top. Despite the cold, a senselessly large crowd of loinclothed and spray-bottled citizens is milling around the base of the shaft. Every so often the camera cuts to various closeups of people making fish lips, dropping peace signs, or flashing their boobs. Eventually, eleven-fifty-nine rolls around, and I turn up the volume on the TV as the countdown begins. At ten seconds till midnight, the Shoe begins its descent. But instead of merely dropping, it bursts into flame about a third of the way down—and then plummets into the shrieking masses below.
Ernie sighs. “Fucking 2020.”
“Fucking 2020,” I agree.