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      Airborne and Airtight On New Year's Eve Airborne and Airtight On New Year's Eve Airborne and Airtight On New Year's Eve

      Airborne and Airtight On New Year's Eve

      January 4, 2013
      From the column 'Milf Teeth'

      Hello, I'm Sophie Heawood, does my column need a title? If John Doran is MENK then I could be MILF. Or maybe MILF TEETH. I don't want motherhood to define me.

      MILF TEETH #1: AIRBONE AND AIRTIGHT ON NEW YEAR'S EVE

      If you think going out on New Year's Eve is shit, you've probably never been forced to spend it in quarantine with whooping cough, in your house on a council estate in Hackney, where your mother is trying, in between your demented coughing fits, to get you into the loft to see if the mysterious noises are squirrels, before saying she's going to get in her car and drive to Trafalgar Square for kicks, because the only alternative is watching telly with you, "And that's hopeless, because everyone on Eastenders is dead," and your dad is staying with you too, only he's gone back to Yorkshire for the day to see someone about something, and will return later on the train that starts in Scotland and passes through Edinburgh, Glasgow and Newcastle, scooping up every pissed Scot and Geordie it can find on the way, on Hogmanay, before rattling down to London, and the man is an 80-year-old philosopher with a bladder complaint who asked you this week to remind him what a coconut was, and you've got a baby asleep upstairs whose father is currently refusing to tell you what country he's living in, and you can't even have a drink because you're on antibiotics the size of palomino ponies.

      Did I mention that I also found I had an ingrowing pube this morning? I didn't know if those mythical things were real or not. They are! Although I don't think mine actually meant to grow inwards, I think it was just trying to kill itself. Look, it's not that I'm experiencing self-pity right now, it's just – let's face it – plenty of monks have set themselves on fire over less.

      A couple of New Year's Eves ago, I was in LA, at a party in an illegal speakeasy downtown. To get in, you had to knock on the door and then wait for ages to see if the Korean woman who ran it was in a favourable mood. Everyone said she used to run a brothel. She had short, spiky hair and was quite round and menacing, like a pumpkin. My main memory of that place, before it got raided, is that you could smoke at the bar. In fact, you could rack out lines of gak at the bar without anybody doing much. The rest of the room was just piles of plush green sofas. While my friend was having a fight with Baz Luhrmann at the bar (she accused him of stealing her purse, she was a little bit mental) I was fast asleep on a lovely lime pouffe. So asleep that I missed my lift to Joshua Tree, where some other friends were driving out to take magic mushrooms in the desert. It's just as well I slept through my ride, because it turned out I was unsuspectingly pregnant at the time, and mushroom babies come out squashed and looking like Aleister Crowley.

      Another New Year's Eve, we went to Paris, to a party in a Russian oligarch's vast, empty apartment, where they stashed the champagne in the bath. The oligarch's nephew tried to chat me up by biting my neck and I waited, in vain, to turn into a vampire. I got a bit too drunk, and a bit too hot, and a bit too bored by the sort of rich people who were always going to think this song was about them when it never, ever would be, so I went and cooled down by lying on the champagne in the bath. It was, all things told, a shit party. But not as shit as this year's one. So, I have made a new invention. A drone version of myself. The drone is powered like a light aircraft version of me, able to go out into Friday night airspace, unmanned, and do all of the things I can't do. The drone me is sleek, beautiful, laughs like melting butter, is surrounded by the warmth of human love, is in the right place at the right time, never exits the toilets with bog roll on her shoe and always has a driver waiting outside, like Mark Ronson. The drone version of me is not currently watching Top of the Pops.

      Tulisa, singing, on Top of the Pops. "Forgive me for what I have done," she sings, "'cos I'm young / yeah I'm young." Fearne is pregnant in a big sparkly dress. Reggie's trousers are done up quite tight. Silver sparkles are raining on the audience like a hen night trapped inside a snow globe in Norwich. "Are you ready, Top of the Pops?" asks Tulisa. "It's New Year's Eve, I want to see your hands in the air. Getting. Crazy." There is a frosted penguin on the stage beside her. It has something weird on its mouth, meaning it is either controlling an evil empire or is implicated in the Mayan apocalypse. There are some middle-aged men in plastic hats in the audience, looking like they're fresh from helping the police with Operation Yewtree. My mum is still talking about driving to Trafalgar Square. "When I get there, I might," she muses, "jump into the fountain."

      At half ten, my father arrives home. He looks around at the miserable scenes. "Aren't we going out?" he asks. "No? I've been telling everyone on the train I'm going to see the New Year in in a pub in Hackney," he says. He thinks about it. "They did look quite surprised." My mum can't be bothered any more. "The Hootenanny is on now, it's live!" It's not live Mum, they record it in about November, half those people you see on it could already be DEAD. "Oh yes," she says. "Remember when you took me to the Jools Holland recording," she says, "and Carla Bruni was on it and there were all of those French policemen with guns in the studio!"

      "Yes Mum," I say. "I remember how we all got ushered out to leave by those cops with guns and I couldn't find you anywhere because you'd rushed over to the Metallica stage and you were getting your photo taken with Lars Ulrich." She beams with pride. My parents are not going out now, but my mum decides to change into her red dress anyway, and put a load of red tinsel round her head. It looks a bit like a crown of thorns on Jesus. I sincerely hope she isn't planning on staging any crucifixions, but at this point I would put nothing past the woman. "New Year's Eve seems to have become NYE these days," Dad says, spelling it out quite slowly. "Enn. Why. Eee." He is reading the Guardian Guide. "Look at this in the listings. House Party Enn... Why... Eee."

      And then, the most exciting thing in the world happens. A bunch of kids start kicking our bins outside. Teenage boys in hoodies, screaming at each other as they smash up all the recycling bins. Suddenly I'm hanging out the window with my phone in my hand, shouting at them: "Can you get off my bin because I'm filming you and I've got your FACE," and this hard kid suddenly looks really scared, and he says "Sorry, sorry, Miss," and he tries to put my bin back but it's quite difficult to tell which bin is which by this point, so he just tries to show general soothing tenderness towards all of the bins, clearly nervous that he is still on camera (he was never on camera). Then he scoots away with his bad boy friends and I lie on the floor coughing and coughing until there is drool rolling off my tongue onto the rug.

      And then in another universe the drone me goes out with the bad boys from the bins, as they speed me away in their car, some filthy R&B streaming out of the window, and we drive through the London night, through all the lights and the fireworks and all the puke on the pavements, a city that is just trying to wrap its hands down its pants and finger itself. And we speed past all this, past all the queues for the bar and the dealers and the sad-eyed panda people who are drinking to forget that 2013 is just another whale coming to eat them, and the bad boys take me faraway and make me airtight somewhere on the top of a hill and afterwards we smoke a joint and I say, "Guys, the good news is that I've decided not to press charges about my recycling bin!" Sorry, no, I say, "Guys, do that thing to me again with the end of both your tongues, ooh, it was like something off RedTube."

      Back in the world of the pre-recorded Hootenanny, the real me looks down and notes that her hymen has grown back. Anyhow, I'm planning on having a lot more fun next year.

      Follow Sophie on Twitter: @heawood

      Photo by Loulou Androlia.

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