New Year's Eve -- the torture chamber of hope.

The opulent designer's home is stark.

The ugly knickknacks are from the host's beloved.

The ill man renews his magazine subscriptions selectively.

From behind, anyone might yet be beautiful.

The doomed feel free to walk away from bores.

The special-effects wizards are nonetheless bald.

The model crosses her eyes briefly to relax her companions.

The shunned guest plays invisible drums.

The stern-faced man turns out to be funny.

Give a man some love -- you feed him for a day.

Teach a man to love -- you feed him for life.

Pursuing pleasure -- pointless, painful and the only consolation.