Friday, February 24, 2006

Keep your hands and feet in the ride at all time

Birthdays are a lot like roller coasters. You have huge expectations each time you step into the car; you want the excitement and the rush that the really big loop-the-loop Roller Coasters offer; you want the speed and the thrills. Expectations are huge.

Birthdays have all those same expectations. No other day do we expect all our cards to line up just right (except perhaps the day of our prom and our wedding). Every other day, we have Murphy's Law and sayings such as "Nobody ever said life is fair" floating around the back of our heads, smudging our outlook; but my birthday is "MY Day". It is all about me, when we celebrate the day I was born, and we eat my favorite kind of cake, we give birthday presents to me, ... Basically, not to mention all our selfishness, on our birthday, we have an innermost desire to feel extremely special by those who are special to us.

But every Roller Coaster is dangerous. There are safety harnesses which must be secure, there are operators who know when to start and stop the machine, there are warnings to keep those people with high blood pressure and weak hearts at bay, there are directions to keep hands and feet and other appendages in the ride at all times.

Birthdays have none of these safety harnesses accompanying them.

My birthday was just over a week ago, on a day which all other people despise! It seems that more people are alone on Valentine's day and the Valentine's-haters despise those who have a Valentine (even if their Valentine is miles away and they're alone too). Valentine's Day offers even higher expectations and attracts even weaker hearts.

I suggest that birthdays come mandatory with safety harnesses, warnings, operators, and directions.

Enjoy the ride!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Everything is alright.

"I just want to warn you," Alicia told me as we walked to her birthday supper, "that you're going to cry on your birthday." Big tears. Twenty year old tears.

It's all going to be alright. Everything is alright. You're okay. Everything is going to be okay. Either God is a woman and she's talking to me, or the loudspeaker outside of Bridgestreet Cafe was blasting some strange self-help CD. I wonder who listens to that stuff. I wonder if that CD is in someone's stereo playing over and over every night, just so that the listener can be convinced by some electronic device that the world really isn't all that bad.

I wonder what went through each pedestrian's mind as they walked up and down Bridge Street, as the dim glow came from the closed storefront windows; Walking either to and from bars or pizza joints, expecting to drink away some repressed emotion or to eat away drunken heartbreak.

Everything is alright.

Twenty Year Old Tears.

Loudspeakers don't lie.