I spent the first day and a half of this year largely unconscious.
Oh, not entirely. Right at the beginning I was enjoying a lovely New Year's Eve dinner. Then to sleep, from which I woke a few hours later, my entire digestive tract ablaze with the desire to assert its own personality, like a 2-year-old made of intestines. I thought it might have been the dinner, but my daughter had the same meal I did, and she felt fine. That's why I had children: to serve as tasters. Up until now, it's worked out fine, for me anyway. Sorry about the fugu, kid.
Then I slept for about 36 hours. A lot of the dreams came right out of American Horror Story. Great show. Glad I got to watch those previously unaired episodes without the benefit of a television or computer. Also? Thanks, 2012, for letting me know upfront how things are. So many years just won't put their cards on the table like that.
My birthday falls on the day before Epiphany, because of which I always feel I'm on the verge of realizing something important, or as we Elliots put it, getting piphed off. I used to think it fell on Boxing Day (nope: that's December 26th and always has been) which might be why I, probably in some liquor-induced haze, bought a still-unused Groupon for boxing classes at a local gym early last year. I'm a little afraid of cashing it in, because of how the woman I'm dating has been going to boxing and mixed-martial-arts classes at that same gym for years, and despite her being just about 5' even, I fully suspect she can kick my ass from here to next Thursday and probably will should I piss her off, as I probably will. (Statistically speaking.) So, while I could have spent my birthday boxing, I felt that eating, drinking and whenever possible performing various sexual acts, preferably immoral, unsanitary and illegal, seemed more productive and enjoyable birthday pursuits than any involving my getting hit in my own personal face -- speaking, again, statistically.
So, as I have done for the past several years, I took a week off at the beginning of January to celebrate my birthday by indulging in the aforementioned eating, drinking and various sexual acts, preferably immoral, unsanitary and illegal, not to mention topologically dubious. It's not that I feel that the day of my birth is an occasion sufficiently worthy of celebration that I need a week to do it; it's that I feel I need an annual week of celebrating of some sort, and I'm afraid that if I go down to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, I'll wake up in the middle of some redneck's alligator-wrestling emporium deep in the bayou, arms full of 12 feet of jaw-snapping razor-toothed briefcase on the hoof. I mean, you know, again. Not to mention that no one needs to see any more of those YouTube clips of me flashing my tits. I do love the beads, though.
My birthday started evolving into Birthday Week a couple of years before I outlived my father. (It wasn't hard; I just didn't shoot myself in the head the way he did.) I've now made a couple of years older bones than Dead Old Dad, and should there be an afterlife, and should I run into him, I plan to tell him that had he held on a few more years, he'd have gotten free beer for life. (Shhhh. Nobody tell him the truth.) That birthday also counted as one of the big ones numerically, which once you get past drinking age are pretty much just the ones with a 0 on the end, though I'm going to be pretty psyched when I hit 55. What can I tell you? I'm queer for 5s, and also anticipate that I will enjoy feeling that I'm over the limit, not perhaps for the first time.
So all things considered this year I didn't have many expectations for my birthday, unlike that big one a couple of years ago. (Once again, please apologize to Tori Amos and to her husband, and tell her I'd be super-grateful should she ever decide to rescind the restraining order.) Once the mini-coma ended, though, my birthday turned out fine. My daughters joined me for Birthday Dinner and Birthday Dinner 2: Electric Boogaloo and for once the sequel was just as good as the original, as will 3 and 4 be, I hope -- the trailers look great. My Facebook friends posted their happy happys and unlike the guy who kept changing his birthday on his profile and re-getting birthday wishes, I choose to view Facebook birthday greetings as a sweet if inconsequential aspect of modern life. (Really, narcissist? You expect everyone to just remember your damn birthday? That's why we're on Facebook, dude: so we don't have to remember your damn birthday.) And I just found out Marilyn Manson and I share this birthday; if that doesn't validate astrology, I don't know what would.
So it's not an epiphany, just a small realization: even with the shaky start, this could wind up a pretty good year, filled with eating, drinking and performing various sexual acts, preferably immoral, unsanitary and illegal, not to mention physically and metaphysically improbable. Statistically speaking, of course.