All over the world, many people stay up to watch the clock on New Year’s Eve, watch the ball drop on the bright letters ‘Happy New Years (insert year here)!’
I stay up to eat grapes.
Since I was young, I watched my mother’s eyes glow mauve as she ate them; tracking the countdown from 60…59…58. Later, I joined her–swallowing them two by two from 49…48…47. I always heard the tick tock in my head rolls faster than the glowing clock on the TV screen, so I greedily shoved uvas in my mouth. Without tasting their fresh burst, only chewing on their smooth shiny skin to get them down before the new year.
A common Latino tradition is to finish twelve grapes in the one minute before the new year. This is done to have or ensure twelve, sweet and fruitful months until the next year. After years of this tradition, my mother finally gave up on it while I hastily ate them. Although she bought them unreluctantly–last year she got me these grapes the size of two thumbs combined.
I could barely get any down as the countdown spiraled, 37…36…35. When 2016 arrived, I had only ate eight grapes.
The magic of hoping for a better year was lost for me in 2016. I only saw bad in the world the entire year, from candidate Donald Trump becoming President Elect Donald Trump to the many terrorist attacks the world had to endure.
So this year, I decided to take my time. Glazed, green grapes laid in my palm as I calmly placed them in my mouth, time seemed to slow…18…17…16.
By time the clock struck 12:00 AM, I realized I finished thirteen plump bites.