Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day You fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town Waiting for someone or something to show you the way
Tired of lying in the sunshine, staying home to watch the rain You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today And then one day you find, ten years have got behind you No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun
And you run and you run to catch up with the sun, but it's sinking And racing around to come up behind you again The sun is the same in a relative way, but you're older Shorter of breath and one day closer to death
Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time Plans that either come to nought, or half a page of scribbled lines Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way The time is gone the song is over, Thought I'd something more to say
"Time" by Pink Floyd.
Today is my birthday. For another 60 minutes it will be so. I cannot say I am in the mood to write, but I feel I must, and I know I so rarely attempt such things any longer, so here I am, spending the last hour of my birthday on a bed in a small studio thousands of miles from those I know, alone and lonely, as is the way of me. Anyone who knows me, knows I have long now not been a fan of my birthday, and have so often done my best to avoid it, and it has worked too well. I am always of the same mind on this day, unaware except for emptiness down inside me.
I cannot now explain the reasons, though I have them, my reasons for an animosity turned antipathy. Has this day ever been more than just a day? When I was a few years younger, I would run away on this day. I would go through my rituals of an inflicted solitude. I would hide, up in the mountains behind my house, across and over in the valley down in some field, on some empty ski resort in early summer months, on some cliff, standing at the edge, looking down and over my city and the world it seemed I knew, knowing enough to know I knew it not at all. I would jump upon my motorcycle and find in me a freedom of escape that only there was possible, and I would have to stop, and lose it, and go back, and it was all gone.
I remember how strange it seemed to me that so many of my birthdays I was greeted with rain, a perfect reflection of torrential confusion, and I loved the rain. I cannot say I feel the same for the day any longer. I cannot say I feel anything at all. It has never appeared to me a day worth a mention. I have not had a birthday party in over 20 years. I'm not sure I've had a birthday cake in a decade. My one friend, Suzette, is the only person who has remembered my birthday each of the last few years. I don't think I've ever had a group of friends take me out to celebrate, nor do I recall the last time some group has sung happy birthday. It is of my own fashioning, and I am not sad for it. I don't say these things for pity. It is my doing, my planning. Birthdays are not really a big deal in my family. I think we all get this equal treatment, though I try the hardest for it, and yet, it is strange that I do like to celebrate for others. There are some women whose birthdays I still mourn at not celebrating with them, some whom I have tried so desperately to make it a perfect day, and known I have succeeded. It is a happiness I have never allowed others to feel. I still struggle with realizing that birthdays are not necessarily about those whose day it is, but rather about those who care for them. I do at times now finding myself curious of how the other side lives, those friends I know who have parties and cakes and special birthday dinners and blow out candles with circles of friends about them and singing. I wonder about it, and saying so is hard for me to admit. You would have to now me to realize that. When I was 19, I did receive a cake. My sister picked it up for me with her then boyfriend, now husband, John. My sister, knowing me well, did not have "Happy Birthday" written on the cake, but rather "Quack Quack." It is why I forgave her for the cake, for the kind gesture, for the duties a sister so gladly performs. I was such a punk then. I still am, and the sad part of it all is that I hold on to such things for the mere sake of holding on, and not for any genuine feelings still inside me. I think I am waiting for someone to pull it all out. Oh, a topic there we could talk of.
I remember last year on this day I was skating home through the streets of Huntington Beach with my dear friend Suzette. Suzette never reads these posts. I know few people do, and because she is unaware of this all, I can freely say I love her as my greatest friend of the last few years, and while I have told her that in person, I know she does not fully understand, for those I do value, I value with a depth that legions could not conquer. I was with her, on our longboards, cruising the black pavement, two blocks off PCH, and we reminisced about that past year. We were together the year before as well, and if I were back in California now, I think what I would want the most is dinner with my friend and Cold Stone ice cream. We also talked about what we wanted to happen in the next year, that next year ending this very day. One thing I said was that I wanted to find the woman I would marry, not to be married, but only to have found her, to have a good idea of it, to feel she would be the last woman I would ever date, kiss, and love. I believed then it would happen. Months before that I had even thought I found the woman, but then, I had hopes and prospects and confidence in it. Now I remember our talk on longboards, and I confess I am further from it then ever I was. It is a frightening thought that I pray God blesses me to never have to think again.
This birthday is a more unusual one than others. I am in some foreign land and given to too much thought of goals left unaccomplished and dreams unrealized. So what is this birthday for me? What is the memory of the last year for me other than what is explained in the lyrics atop this post? Words relate to me too much at times, and I do not expect you to glean the same from them. All I know now is that this is a post I really had no wish to make. I am tired, and the day that means nothing to me is close at end. I will wake tomorrow the same as I woke today, and that day will end as well, one day blending to the next, and for my myself I find no distinction.
"There is still no cure for the common birthday." - John Glenn
To you, I a common man, on this my common day, leave you with a most uncommon goodbye and God bless