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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

And Then One Day You're Thirty

A year is nothing: a feather in the breeze, a breath of air. Turn around and it's gone. Ice, bud, leaf ,twig. Geese on the pond, stubble in the field. Three hundred sixty-five mornings, three hundred sixty-five nights. Minor lacerations, a sprained ankle, runny nose, the death of a distant relative. There's a squirrel in the antic, a tree down in a storm. The clock in the hallway cranks round seven hundred and thirty times. Windows are raised, shades drawn, dishes, cups and spoons dirtied and scrubbed, dirtied and scrubbed. Thunder hits the hills like a mallet, snow climbs the fenceposts, sunlight burnishes the windows like copper. A year. One of how many: fifty? sixty? The days chew away at it, insidious.'
T.Coraghessan Boyle, Water Music

One day I woke up and I was thirty. I didn't feel different to how I did the day before nor the year before. Nor four or five years before that. It always felt like it was going to be a momentous occasion- one of great sorrow or joy- but the truth is fairly anticlimactic. Strange how when you're a young kid, setting fire to cats, tormenting teachers with unique and ingenious nicknames (ie. 'Mr. Fuckhead') and dreaming of one day becoming an astronaut, and the whole concept of thirty is something you just can't wrap around your head. It's a blinking crystal that tells people it's time to go. It's the perfect age to become the prime ingredient for Soylent Green. But mainly, it's something that happens to OTHER PEOPLE.

My actual birthday was pretty non-eventful. Apart from the sheer joys of receiving an eviction notice because one of the previous housemates hasn't paid up his share of the rent six months ago (See: Why Micah and I are no longer friends[1]) nothing much happened that day. I knocked off early, had dinner with mum and shared some drinks with Matt and Mack. A pleasant evening but not one filled with any deep emotion. Compared to that I remember a week previously sitting outside a bar with a beer in my hand and watching the lights slowly turn on in the buildings around the city as dusk became night and thinking that it somehow felt like Christmas. And, in a way, that felt like a true day, like a year had finally clocked over.

Soylent Green is People!

[1] It was actually the follow-up to the Notice to Vacate letter from way back when. But eviction letter sounds cooler.


Blogger Gaijin Girl said...

That's lovely Fatman. Warm wishes for your birthday from GG. x

6:17 pm  
Blogger Yawn said...

I remember my 30th birthday- bawling like a baby because suddenly I had proof in the form of various government documents that my youth had somehow slithered away forever while I was drunk or stoned, and wasn't keeping it safely locked away in the crawlspace I keep for locking up things like youth and psychosis. It's the year of actually being 30 that drains whatever's left of you, so by the time your 31st birthday comes along, you're less than a whithered husk of a once-vibrant and living creature. Sorry to say Fatman, you've got 12 months left.

6:37 am  
Blogger Fatman said...

Gaijin Girl- Thanks. I drank lots and remember nothing. My eyebows are still intact (though I am missing my left arm).

Yawn- I was never a vibrant, living creature. I have a pulse- Yes- but do I "live"?

11:19 am  

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