On an earlier birthday of significance, turning eighteen, I was going through technical training in the air force. One weekend, me and two buddies, walked from Chanute AFB in Rantoul to Champaign-Urbana. While wandering about in the early evening, feigning adulthood, we spied a movie theater marquee and in big letters it read Debbie Does Dallas. We stood by the ticket booth, hemming and hawing. We were all freshly eighteen, but we still couldn't legally drink in the state of Illinois, but we could be admitted into genuine x-rated movie theater. Not used to making adult decisions, we turned away from the theater, and went across the square to see Superman, starring Christopher Reeve.
I've never been one for birthday celebrations. Maybe that's because I've always been a bit of an introvert and can count my number of friends on one hand. On one of those landmark birthdays -- age 30, when one traditionally receives black balloons and sympathy cards -- I was on my first road trip west to Washington state. I believe I was staying in a KOA Kabin somewhere in Pennsylvania with my first wife and her two cats on my actual birthday.
I finagled things, so that on my 40th birthday -- when men enter their middle-age crazy years -- I was staying in Negril, Jamaica. On my actual birthday, I was swimming in a saltwater pool under a full moon. I probably said, "It doesn't get much better than this," and I would have been right, or as close to right as someone like me is liable to get.
Since turning forty, I've had a lot of non-birthday birthdays. I don't even remember what I did on my 50th, but I most likely took the day off from work. I try to make that the one gift I give myself each year, because who wants to work on the one day you get to celebrate yourself? Last week, when I turned fifty-four (for you dyslexics out there, that's forty-five,) I took the day off and slept in. The sun was shining, but not in my honor.
Even my son forget my birthday last week. He couldn't guess, when I picked him last Friday, why I took the day off. Well, just being with him is a gift, and always warms my cold black heart. I try and give myself gifts every day. These gifts are mere moments in my day, such as watching a crow playing in a stagnant puddle, but these moments can be brought back to reignite the glow of my soul...if there was such a thing. I have a few soles, but they're all wearing out.
Speaking of soles, time to beat feet, and head on down twentieth avenue to ye ole bookstore on the corner. It's my Tuesday evening shift, so that means I'll have to kick out a few drunks before the evening is over.
Just kidding. Usually it's just this one heroin addict passed out in the self-help section with a copy of Codependent No More in his grubby hands.
No. That's not true either.
What is true? Hell, what is truth? Oh Jeez! Look at the time!
Be Kind to Crows