Notes From a Dive Bar -- New Year's Eve

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It's the most wonderful time of the year. No it isn't. Not for bartenders cleaning up the sprays of joviality.

Lying at the bottom of the stairs, a young woman, robbed of decency. Her bum is half-exposed. Why don't her friends help her up?

What's going on here? I ask, bending down to check on her. She's awake, she gives me a look of disgust, some old guy with a grey beard is in my face. I look around for someone younger.

Who is she with? I ask.

A woman who looks like she must be in possession of a fake ID steps forwards. Her makeup can't hide her acne and it has a quality to it -- too many drugs with bad stuff cut into the mix. No one knows her, she says. It's 3 minutes to midnight. The DJ is playing, Don't You Want Me Baby, by the Human League. No one wants her. Is she Cinderella?

F***.

She won't budge, blocking the stairs. Drunks are tumbling around her. The frenzy is reaching a climax. Poppers are shooting upwards, roars cascade across the room, the DJ is counting down. I look at my exit gift for 2015. And my welcoming gift for 2016. She's crying now as the stampede to the future quickens. She's being left behind to perish on a filthy bar floor, friendless, hostile, people are saying goodbye to another year, most want to see the back of it. All I see is the back of a collapsed human sack.

I have no choice. I grab her from behind and raise her like Christ raising Lazarus. Someone snaps a selfie with the drunk girl. F*** off, I yell. I won't be getting followers on Instagram. I settle her into a booth, bringing water, an ice pack for her bruised head, and the herd charges on. I go back to check on her.

She's gone - like the year. The ice has melted.