The pressure was off – the storm of the century barreling in and scheduled to hit right in time for my birthday. I was ready to embrace the nothingness, the world of white: roads closed, businesses closed. I’d already determined there are no restaurants north of Poughkeepsie open on Tuesday, so this solved the problem of what to do. We would hunker down. It would be fun, unless the power went out.
I felt like a kid waiting for snow day in the night. I kept peeking out the window expecting a dazzling snowglobe. Instead I kept seeing the same tire treads on the driveway. I’d treated myself to a new book from work, a bottle of bubbly, a chocolate bar. Eric had bought me a bottle too, and cooked a lamb casserole.
I would write, I would draw, I would play guitar. Watch movies. I went over the last several years of birthdays, and saw how I was often aimng high: there was Venice in 2008, Toulouse in 2009, back before I stopped having a credit card; the quest to find somewhere open to eat and the movie in an empty cinema in La Rochelle (2010). That awful gig in Angouleme where I had to argue with the owner to pay us what we’d agreed, she insisted we should have played three hours instead of two (doing gigs on your birthday can go a few different ways). Our first year in the US we were completely broke and stayed home eating pasta. The next year Eric’s daughter and granddaughter were visiting, we took them to the city and saw my daughter play when she still lived 1000 miles away. Last year it was bad coffee and getting recognized at Housing Works bookshop and a great Austrian meal on Ludlow Street – but we spent a fortune and I decided the next year we’d just have a great time somewhere up here.
I finally accept that having a birthday at the end of January sort of sucks, unless you live in Australia, because it’s always cold. Maybe that’s a major contributing factor to my personality – it is my birthright to be cranky!
I’m glad I’ve been keeping a blog for eight years now. As the years go faster and faster, because I’ve had so many of them, having it all written down helps me keep track of what happened.
Acceptance is a big part of adding another year to the pile. I see the anger and uncertainty in some of my older posts and think getting older is not a bad thing.