Many happy returns.

Couldn't seem to get to sleep... I suppose 24 isn't that different after all.

So many things on my mind, so many things better sense says to keep to myself. Let's see how it goes.

Today was my birthday, and I spent it with my kid brother and my divorced parents, the latter part being as strange and awkward as it sounds. But I suppose it was fine, certainly nothing bad, and it was very good to spend time with Aaron -- I think we might finally be getting this sibling thing down. It was not a bad way to spend a birthday. I had a steak, and laughed at my waitress for talking about "World of Warcraft."

But I should stop being so coy. The cosmic joke to this year's birthday was that I shared it with Father's Day, barely a month after my Dad died. It is hard to not feel like the universe is some vindictive little shit just out to get me. It is harder still to not act like an petulant child about it.

I've seen people get parties for their birthdays. Friends around, smiles, a general sense of good-natured reveille. Cake. I've even been to a few. There was singing.

Happy birthday to you...

I feel bitter, and this chip on my shoulder hasn't gotten lighter. Why was I reassuring everyone? Did anyone else look at the strongest woman they know, and see her break down into tears when they asked her if she needed anything, and all she could say was "Yes - yes, my baby. I need my baby back"? There's no answer to that, and no malice meant by it -- but still it's there, and will be there, every day from now on.

The constant presence. "If there's anything I can do..." seems to have expired about a week and a half after, and even then it felt like it only existed in what some might call "peak business hours," not at all prudent to the 3 a.m. call time my own panic and loathing is scheduled for. The best of them -- of my friends -- would likely reassure me here that I shouldn't worry about that, but I know from experience that opinion changes when roused from a deep sleep and a pleasant dream by phone ring and an insomniac's rambling. Besides, as far as the best of them are concerned, I couldn't bring myself to do it.

I can almost hear this being called a pity party.

Happy birthday to you...

We're all a mess. We all cling to those closest to us, and those without those close are just left out. I am not some Hottentot Venus to those I love, I am neither passe nor boring, and even if I were, this would not be a reason for abandonment. I have more time, and others have more pressing things to do. It would be cruel, to more than just myself, to cleave to that word -- absentee.

And there is no drought on well-wishes or affection. A few people sent me "Happy Birthdays" on Facebook, and there were a couple gifts. A phone call or two. All very good things, all things I feel very appreciative for. And the few absences, though conspicuous, will likely yet be explained.

Happy birthday dear Randall...

And I was never much for cake. Never much for sweets. Best to focus on the highlights -- things that make me smile, like having my coat rack back, or thoughts of Mia Zapata, in life, and not how she died. "Nova," for one, how proud I am of parts of it. Pre-order on the new Regina Spektor album.

Focus on the girls who said they wanted to kiss me, and not think about why days later I'd fallen from their minds. Happy for the extra time the sleepless nights bring. Be thankful for finding out I could still have hope for the future, and not worry so much about what happens if something... well, happens, and takes that away again.

And then there's that little thing that I finally picked up, which I have no plans on using, but feel so much better having, for some reason.

Happy birthday to you.

Hang this year, hang 23. Humbling me, making it hard to even pick out a shirt in the morning. Let alone have any real judgment left. I wanted to celebrate today, to welcome 24, celebrate just being alive. But it is hard to fight my better nature. The intent was there. Dad would have appreciated that.

I'm tired, but there is much to do this week. Justin will have pages for me to see [Re: Calamity Cash and the Town with No Name], and there is work to be done on "Trendsetter" yet. My photographer is still booked for Friday [Re: The Familiar], and I'd like to squeeze in some time for my brother, which is harder now, as he's taken up football, and practice seems to consume his time even in summer. Then the family reunion on Saturday. And other family, coming in after that -- my uncle and cousin -- which means I'll have to clean, and make my room presentable for someone who probably expects far more organization from a living space than I do. And at some point, to the old house, to retrieve my posters from the walls. Little errands, great importance.

Best to those who sent their best. Thank you.

2 comments :: Many happy returns.

  1. You! I tried to send you a Happy Birthday text but it didn't work. I was in NYC so my phone was being wonky. So Happy Belated here instead!

    ...and uh...if someone wanted to know your mailing address...for the purpose of the...CENSUS, what might it be? ahem. Just curious.

  2. Hey Sam. Check Facebook.