New Year's Eve

by Brian Cullman

Years ago, I washed up on a tiny island between Spain & Africa. There was no electricity, no running water, and after dark, the animals took over the island, dogs and goats and creatures you couldn’t see but could hear, snuffling and breathing by the rocks on the shore. There was a pretty girl who lived in a windmill; a doctor who had hung his rejection letter from Harvard Med School on his front door; and an architect who was compiling an encyclopedia of sand. It was that sort of place. It was late November, I’d rented a tiny house in the middle of a pine grove, and I realized it was the first year I wouldn’t spend Christmas with my parents. I felt both liberated and homesick; but excited to be on my own, finding my way in the world and anxious to leave all the trappings of pop culture behind. I wanted to stare at the moon and hear the music of time.

     I would go out under the stars, with nothing but the sound of wind and dogs and night, and there in the wilds, my mind would fill with the flotsam & jetsam of my childhood: "The Christmas Song, “The Little Drummer Boy,”  “We Wish You A Merry Christmas.” So much for the music of the spheres. 

    For years, after I returned, I couldn’t set foot in a mall or step into an elevator after Thanksgiving. I still can’t. Holiday music gives me the creeps.

    So this is my revenge, my way out of no way out! Three minutes of seasonal music without a sleigh bell or reindeer or sugar plum fairy dancing in your head.  It’s a song for that dark nightclub of the soul where Randy Newman, Sun Ra and Willie Dixon are the dee jays and no one really cares if you’re naughty or nice.                                                            — Brian Cullman, November 2016