A strange birthday.
Normally I indulge myself: my day! 10/27: the end of the slalom through my favorite month. Saunter to work, maybe have lunch with colleagues at Jacob Wirth, order the blue plate special. Why not? Or head to Border's, buy a new crossword puzzle book, have a scone and a latte, take a stroll through the Public Garden. Do something nice for yourself! I believe I will. A soft-serve twist from the Mr. Frosty truck at Boylston and Arlington. And as I walk and lick, think warmly of my birthday-mates: what a pantheon! Dylan Thomas, Sylvia Plath, Teddy Roosevelt, John Cleese, and happy birthday, Nanette Fabray!
Last year I even had a party to mark my 60th. Friends brought things to read: Dylan Thomas, Sylvia Ashton Warner, and their own poems about time, change, and continuity.
But this was a different, post-layoff, 10/27. The day had turned raw again. I slept late, only just waking in time to catch the garbage truck (probably looking like I wanted a lift). Then had to deal with some red tape getting in the way of my Unemployment claim, playing telephone tag with Human Resources that lasted all day. And the yard sale aftermath: a porch full of unsold stuffed animals, books, games, and tiny bits of plastic whatnots--to box and bag for Big Brother Big Sister; and all those wet signs nailed or strapped to trees and telephone poles needing to be ripped down the way Steve McQueen's bounty hunter used to do in "Wanted: Dead or Alive." Never quite got to that task.
My indulgences for the day? Chicken broth and orange jello. On account of I had to prep for a colonoscopy, a last-ditch appointment tomorrow before my health plan runs out. Fun!
So, thanks, well-wishers who wrote in today, and to my sister Dotch and pals Bill and Penny who phoned from Dogtown and Santa Fe and Vancouver: sorry I wasn't much of a live wire on my end. But sometimes a birthday sleeps late and never quite makes it out of the house, except to buy the Dulcolax ("dull coal-axe": my mnemonic) tablets at Walgreen's. And what can you say about 61 anyway? Roger Maris's had an asterisk. Mine comes with a colon. :)