Thursday, September 10, 2009

9/10/74

today is my birthday. its not particularly special to me. i woke up alone & made my own coffee just like any other day. i do however, carry with me the memories of birthdays past...

for whatever reason, i don't recall ever having a cake for my birthday. so one year, i decided i was gonna make my own & invite people over. i'd also never had an actual birthday "party" & was very excited at the prospect of having one. when my mom figured out what i was planning, she was furious. my one friend who came for "the party" was sent home & i got the third degree. i don't remember what was so wrong about wanting a party...
birthdays & holidays seemed to erupt in rage with peculiar regularity. they've become a sort of Veteran's Day for me. i wonder what i would be like if there was no yelling... if i had had a party, a cake, friends to celebrate with? sure, my mom & grandfather (& even my dad at times) would bring cards & presents & say "happy birthday" & "you're a year older now! How do you feel?" but that didn't necessarily convey to me that my life was anything special. a birthday, a holiday, these were obligations, not celebrations. its just the way we did things... and for the life of me, i can't figure out why. would i have been a different person if someone had gone all out & celebrated me so many years ago?

as i've gotten older & gained more friends, i've since had cakes & parties for my birthday, but the damage is done. i remember only the yelling... being most expectant of that than what i put on my wish list. birthdays & holidays are "just another day" to me- obligations to be tackled or avoided or downplayed if possible. i really do think this way- but there's something in me that knows that kind of thinking is bunk.

today, i think it would have been nice to wake up to a husband who offered me coffee & a massage, who would take me out to breakfast, who would celebrate my "special day" with me. last year, my best friend & i went camping for 5 days on a little known lake in the middle of nowhere. that was special to me. this year, we'll be celebrating my birthday on the coast. today however, is thursday & i have to go to work. this year, my birthday brings with it the realization that i'm 35 & alone. i'm 35 & only getting older. my wrist brace is cumbersome as i type. my back & shoulders ache as i lean into the couch. some phantom pain surges in my gut. i'm tired from a restless night. my birthday makes me feel like i'm one inch closer to the edge of darkness. this is a horrible way to think of it. and even though the yelling has ceased, i've come to expect (& expectation is much different than hope, mind you) a heaviness, a foreboding negativity that accentuates my worth (or lack thereof) in the universe. now that its grown up & gotten stronger, my hope pushes back against those awful expectations, but they're still very strong... difficult to budge...

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