April 26, 2003


Well, I am officially a year older now. Of course, I do not feel any different than I did a couple of hours ago, and although I am not all that worried about being a year older, it is also nothing of much importance. I have been old enough to drink and old enough to vote for more than two decades, and yet I am still not old enough to retire (or actually just not rich enough to retire) nor do I qualify for any discounts because I have attained the status of senior citizenship. I am not unhappy with growing older, as I long ago realized it was eventual, but with every passing year, my dream of bringing a child or two into this world dims a bit. I do not have any special plans for today, and doubt anyone will acknowledge my birthday, now that my mother has passed. Speaking of my mother, it does bring back to me my epiphany I had when I turned 25 that my birthday might actually be far more important to my mother than it was to me, as it was my birth that had made her a mother.

What is it about birthdays? I have never found it a big deal to have another year pass. I guess the last real deal that was made about me on a birthday was when I skipped work so I would not have to attend all that black morbidity party they give you when you turn 40. My wife had died the year before, so my life was black enough without going through that ordeal. My last one was probably the worst birthday, because I lost my dad the year before, so I turned 47 being widowed and orphaned. That was not a highlight, I can tell you. Turning another year older in the same condition is not quite as bad, but is still not great.

I could get drunk today, but I long ago decided I really did not like being drunk. Semi-unconsciousness always seems to come with a lack of control, and without control, strange events can occur than can really dampen your spirits. The hangovers are not all that great either, or the puking. I could get myself a cake, but I am not really into sweets, except for Wintergreen Altoids, and I would rather they didn't have any sugar in them, just the "curiously strong" mint. I am always worrying about whether my breath smells, and somehow sucking four of them at a time alleviates my worry.

Birthdays and holidays are not really all that fun when you are alone. No one gives you gifts, though, really I kind of got over gifts when I reached the economic ability to buy most of the things that I wanted. I gave myself a new computer Christmas before last, but could not think of anything I really wanted this past Christmas. I suppose I could buy myself an electronic pest control device for my birthday. I have been wanting one of those to chase away that damn mouse that seems to live inside the wall beside my bed. It is due to that mouse that I am up at this hour composing this drivel instead of lying peacefully in my bed unable to go to sleep. Insomnia is a side effect of the sinus tablets I take on occasion when the cedar spores are heavy in the air. Those cedar spores didn't seem to bother me so much when I was still too young to drink. Your body seems to go through physical changes as you grow older whether you want them to do so or not. I still am not sure when I still had a full head of hair and when none of it was gray.

48? Is there anything special about being 48? Well, it is divisible equally by 2, 4, 6 or 8. I suppose something could be said for that. I remember when I was 34, I lived near a car wash that gave you a free one on your birthday. I went there for mine, and met a girl getting her free car wash also, who happened to be one-half my age on that day. She had turned 17. She is turning 31 today. I wonder how she feels about today? I am almost sure she must be much more excited than I am. Last year might have been the one to which she was not looking forward. (What is the deal about hanging participles that still bothers me so far into my life?)

Do I seem a bit melancholy? Maybe, but if I remember the words to the song right, "It is my party, so I can cry if I want to." No, I am going to celebrate today, for I am alive, and I am healthy. I understand there is a festival going on in one of our neighboring towns, and I think I will check it out. Who knows, maybe I will get really lucky and not be lonely next year. Yeah, on that thought, I think I will go to bed. Maybe that damn mouse has gone to sleep by now.

Posted by Tiger at April 26, 2003 01:51 AM