I'm thirty-six years old today.
I'm happier than I've ever been in my life.
And this year promises to be the best one so far.
Even though you're not supposed to say things like that if you're a Jew.
Sometimes I worry that I'm too happy.
And that maybe I'll die of an aneurysm like Jonathan Larson.
But then something usually happens to bring me back down to a more tolerable level of happiness:
I read about some woman prostituting her daughter for drugs,
Or somebody bites my ass.
Friday I got my ass chewed ragged.
Then I found out my mom's not coming to the wedding.
Which is okay, even though I've been to three of her weddings.
I understand; she's busy.
And she doesn't want to come.
I think I'm going to ditch my work and go shopping today.
My sneakers are falling apart.
I am too old for falling-apart sneakers.
Or I would like to be, anyway.
I was getting dressed for Coney this weekend, and I realized that I usually dress like a fourteen-year-old hood rat.
I looked at myself in the mirror, and laughed.
"I'm retiring these pants," I told Bill.
"You love those pants," he told me.
Yeah, but if I loved putting my hair in ponytails and rouge circles on my cheeks, I'd expect someone who cared about me to stop me, eventually.
And I'm glad I'm not a fourteen-year-old hood rat anymore.
Fourteen was a miserable year.
If you'd told me at fourteen that I'd be this happy now, maybe it would have been more tolerable.
I have to tell that girl all the time:
It's okay now, everything's okay.
And she pouts: It's too late.
I wanted to go out dancing for my birthday, but you're too old.
You don't even want to take Ecstasy anymore.
Growing up sucks.
I tell her: Growing up is great.
It's the best thing that ever happened to us.
Look, we put our own food in the fridge, and we eat whenever we're hungry.
We have three cats, a partner, a family we love.
We finally finished a book.
We don't suck our thumb any more.
But we still tuck our stuffed armadillo under our arm at night.
We still think about the things we want to happen.
We want to save somebody's life.
We want to say something that helps.
We want our loved ones to live happily,
until they pass gently.
We want a house on Fire Island, where we can sit on the deck and look at the ocean
With our partner puttering in the kitchen
And cats kneading at our laps
And know that there is peace.
Peace is coming; peace is here.
I am happy today,
happier than I've ever been.
I'm going to go running now.
Then I'm going to drink a smoothie.
Then a friend is taking me to lunch.
I predict laughing.
More friends will come by later,
Then Bill's taking me to dinner.
It's going to be a great day.
It's going to be a great year.
I'm thirty-six today.
And I'm grateful.
Thurs. Feb 17, 2011
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