Coco, the resolution


coco1Coco fell from a third storey fire escape on New Year’s Eve and into my wide-open arms. Well, nearly. At least this is what we used to jokingly tell people when they asked us how we met. Coco had been celebrating New Year’s at a friend’s party on the Upper East Side. She did fall from the fire escape at a party and this is how we met, but I didn’t exactly catch her as she fell. I did grab her by her fluttering ankles, however, and pull her out from under the pile of garbage that had broken her fall and probably saved her life.

What stood before me was a sniveling young woman who at that moment looked a heck of a lot like a drunk and frightened clown – albeit a sadly attractive one. She had pieces of food tangled in her curly blonde hair. She reeked of booze and cigarette smoke. Her horned-rimmed glasses were broken but still hanging to her face, which was smeared with makeup. Her skirt was scandalously short. Her stockings had runs in them. She was even missing one of her red pumps, which she didn’t seem to notice.

“My prince charming!” she squealed, hobbling toward me. She removed the Santa Claus hat that I was wearing from my head, wrapped her arms around my neck and planted a wet, sloppy smooch over my mouth. Next thing I knew I was carrying Coco to her apartment on my back, wading cautiously through a sordid sea of confetti, flashing lights, songs sung loud and out of key, and drunken libidos that raged in the loins of probable date rapists. I was overcome with the urge at that moment to make the first New Year’s resolution of my entire life – to act more like a gentleman and less like a rogue.

My resolve didn’t last long. Sometime around April, when Coco was smashing dishes in the sink and throwing my record collection out the window, she would scream that she wished she had never fallen into a pile of garbage or fallen in love with a pile of shit. In the time I knew and lived with Coco, she always had a way of saying clever things. Now I understand why most people decide for their New Year’s resolution to lose ten pounds, take more risks, or quit smoking.

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