Contradictions, paradoxes, and strong waves of feeling were things that Peter Lake had long before learned to call his own, so he was not surprised to be surprised by the gentleness of Mouquin’s usually boisterous New Year’s Eve….it had been the same when the century had turned, when the celebrants had been unable to celebrate and could only stand in awe of history as it moved its massive weight…like the vault door of a central bank….despite a thousand bottles of champagne and a hundred years of anticipation, Mouquin’s had been as quiet as a church on the Fourth of July. Women had wept, and men had found it hard to hold back the tears. As the clockwork of the millennia moved a notch in front of their eyes, it had taken their thoughts from small things and reminded them of how vulnerable they were to time. Winter’s Tale, by Mark Helprin
A friend reads this passage every New Year’s Eve.
Sometimes I think I moved upstate from New York City because I was looking for Lake of the Coheeries.
Quote from Winter’s Tale, Mark Helprin, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, New York: 1983.