Between the present, the past, and the future, he was sure he preferred the past. Perhaps all people on occasion feel the same pangs of nostalgia, and that he differed only in degree. It was thus surprising to see him at the bay on New Year's Eve, awaiting the fireworks at the knoll of the bell.
He smiled as a courtesy, but said little. When the countdown ended, fireworks rocketed through the sky and crackled with their multicoloured intensity.
It was only much later when I learned, entirely by coincidence, that the reactions within fireworks are not instantaneous; rather, it takes some time to fire. Thus, if the fireworks appear to immediately after the countdown, it could have actually been fired in advance at some known interval.
He wasn't celebrating the beginning of the new Year as we all did, but the passing of the old. But then again, perhaps we all were, simply that we didn't know it.