Within a minute after it hit midnight, it sounded like something out of an action movie outside—gunfire everywhere. My neighbor even squeezed off a few rounds. There were some fireworks too, but there’s something distinct about the sound of a gun. (The next day when talking about this with family I was asked about the difference and found it hard to explain except to say that there’s a more precise “high-pitched crack” with a handgun and a more “muted” low with a shotgun.) Maybe I’m wrong as I’m not sure as I “know” that except for a background in setting off various fireworks, but I’m pretty sure I heard handguns, shotguns, and even some sort of semi-automatic firearm. By 12:30 things mostly tapered off with only some random shots heard and by 12:40 it was pretty quiet.
I remember being invited to a New Year’s party at one of my boss’s house when I was in college, (he and his brother managed/owned a “party store” where I worked). I’m not sure what I was doing there as I didn’t really fit in, (I think everyone else spoke Arabic as a first language), but I distinctly remember two things about that night: 1) the food was awesome, and 2) at midnight my boss brought out a gun and fired it in the air. Then and now the biggest thing on my mind is…when you shoot a bullet into the air, where does it end up???