Brain Cells in My Front Yard

I really haven't been sleeping, although I just now turned on my "Online" sign. I was out in the front yard cleaning up the brain cells leftover from New Year's Eve. Every year we host the party, you see, and every year I buy a bunch of confetti. Every other year I've gotten the shiny mylar kind. Through the years we've had some that were cut in the shape of the year, champagne glasses, spirals, stars—I can't remember them all. This year we couldn't find any that said 2009, so we bought palm trees instead, then a big bag of paper confetti. We also get those little bottle poppers, so there were colored streamers in every shrub, every flower bed, and every potted plant.

Only today did I feel well enough to pick up what I could. I gave up on the mylar confetti years ago, thinking that the mowers and weather would eventually take care of them. Let me tell you something. Mylar confetti will never disappear. Out in my yard right now, deeply packed into the grass are all the years that we've hosted these parties, glinting out at us in the sun.

Years ago—New Year's eve of 1990—I had a party that beat them all. I won't go into every kind of ingestible that people brought with them. Instead, I'll just tell you it was in southern California before the religious right took over the government and narrowed society's tolerance. We had a great time, but I don't remember midnight. The next morning when I woke up, confetti covered every square inch of the floors. I'm not exaggerating. Every square inch of floor in every single room. When I moved out two years later, I was still vacuuming up that crap. It seemed to creep out of the baseboards. It was at that party, or rather the next morning, that I started calling confetti, "brain cells", and my friends had killed and lost billions of them the night before.

Today wasn't so bad. There was only the paper streamers to pick up, the little popper bottles, and two blow-ticklers. I'm leaving the palm trees to join the brain cells from parties past, and the paper confetti will eventually decompose.