Guess who's birthday it is today? Think I feel much like celebrating? My life feels like it is a bad serial in the comic book pages. You know, the ones where you have to read little tidbits everyday to find out what drama happens in the lives of two-dimensional, black-and-white characters. That is how I feel today especially - flat, colorless, and quickly yesterday's news. Yes, I hate feeling sorry for myself and if I had one more ounce of strength, I would have realized this more fully and not have written anything at all. But I don't and apathy has set in as far as what anyone thinks of me today - well almost.
Summer, particularly around my birthday, hasn't had the best track record for me. For one thing, my father died on my birthday when I was 18. I had just graduated high school and was preparing to go away to college when he succumbed to cancer. He died at 12:06 a.m. on July 19. My birthday is the 18th.
My family said that somehow he knew and was holding on and did not want to die on my
birthday so he held out as long as he could. I guess he made it. After the calendar struck 19, he slipped away. I remember getting the call. I wasn't at the hospital, I had just left for the evening. I didn't have to hear the news, all I needed to hear was the sobbing from my sister. I knew. I expected it, yet I didn't. I hadn't gone to bed, hadn't slept, so it still felt like it was my birthday. However, there is some comfort in believing that he held out for me - whether it is actually true or not. God surely had His hand in it, though.
Another birthday disaster was one of my best friends told me that she wanted no more to do with me. That has been too many years to mention, but it still haunts me. There really wasn't much of reason for it, it was just something that someone told her to do. It was on my birthday and I had a few people in the office where I worked in there at the time I read her note. My co-workers were there with cake and punch while my heart was breaking. I had to work 13 hours that birthday. Yet, I kept on a smile through the whole thing - secretly wanting them to leave me alone.
Still another bad birthday was when I was having a bad time generally, like this year. I felt insignificant and turned to my girlfriend at the time for comfort. Her family had just left the area because her dad got a new job in another state. Well, to deal with my neurosis, she told me how significant I was to her. She said that I was the only reason she was still there. Otherwise, she would have left with her family. That kind of snapped me out of it.
Why is that a bad memory you ask? It was only a short time later that she left me for some guy she met on the internet. Now the memory of her life-infusing speech on my birthday just mocks me as I try to get past yet another one.
Some of you were here when I wrote about the birthday I spent standing in a hospital room wondering if my mother was going to make it. You can read about that one here.
However, of all the bad birthdays, this one takes the (birthday) cake. It starts out with my wife going out of town, spending the weekend with another man, and ends with me contemplating the unrealized goals that make my birthday even harder to bear as I get
farther away from my actual date of birth and longer in the teeth.