A peaceful birthday, I’d say. Everything in moderation, as you wisely taught me. No excesses today, I promise. Fruit cake in the morning with elders and stories that come with lots of sighing. Earmuffs on and steady on the treacherous sidewalk I walk with her offering my arm for support, while she tells me what my estranged cousin has been up to. Ah stories. I miss them all, as I miss everything that’s past tense.
After that, a walk in the park followed by a problematic attempt to get coffee somewhere on New Year’s Eve. All doors closed but our tongues quite open and lively, so we’ll sit and talk about men and love and all this rigmarole of life once more. Men are stupid, she’ll say, and I’ll laugh wholeheartedly at her thesis in which she wholeheartedly believes. And are we, distinguished females, any different? Resolution for 2010: find out.
A subway ride, with little boy sitting across from me ogling me with resolve. He is wondering why I am holding a rose. He whispers the question to his mother, she sits there silently looking at me. I look up from my book and meet her furrowed brow, as if she’s pondering or she consummately dislikes me. Cheer up, woman, it’s New Year’s. And it’s my birthday.
Of course, there is someone who calls too late. Someone who forgets altogether. Someone who pretends to forget. And really, perhaps I’d have spent tonight with you if you weren’t so histrionic and sloppy. If there were anything genuine coming from you rather than irreverent, irrelevant passes I already reprimanded. Do you even listen? We could drink wine and watch artsy movies, comment like in the old days, you’d see that there are other forms of caring aside from lewd ones. But I give up tonight. I’ll be where I am wanted, not because of hormones or loneliness or doubts of self-worth, or to increase the attendance number. I’ll go where I am wanted quite honestly. Guilt and atonement be damned, I’ll put them in the 2009 trash bag.
Wait – they are clamoring for me to open the champagne. We are starting the countdown. Fireworks sound like it’s the end of the world. It’s not the end, people. It’s just another day. It just happens to be the last day of the year. But we don’t get so worked up about the last day of every month, do we? The date is nothing but a number, and so is age. I am just informed that I am older. But I don’t feel it. Do you hear me, baby? I don’t feel it.