I made a resolution

today is my birthday.
I honestly don’t give a shit. honest, bro. I didn’t do anything last year, save go for a bike ride. I rode my bike down to Hains Point and I brought a book. I got there, read for about half an hour, marveled at the juxtaposition of the beautiful scenery and the garbage floating in the water, and watched the planes take off and land at National across the river. then I rode home. and poof, there it went. I was 29.
and so here is 30.

I have nowhere to be. no plans.
I would take another bike ride, because bike rides are great. but the bike is in the shop. see, I met this roaming bike mechanic not long ago. he gave me a spot tune-up at the starting line just before I got my ass kicked in an alleycat race. he was pretty cool, and pointed out that my bike was — while temporarily rideable — pretty damn busted. so now it’s in his shop getting ready for an overhaul. it is a beat-to-shit old thing, this bike, and I’ve proven unable to ride it very well but I like it all the same.
the price of an overhaul with this dude is cheaper than one I’d get at any shop around here, and also includes a lesson in do-it-yourself bike mechanics.
so that’s pretty cool. but the short of it is I am without bike wheels. I can only run. so that’s what I’m going to do when I get home, I’m going to run. I’m going to run until it hurts. it shouldn’t take very long.
anyway, where was I? birthdays. yes. 30 is the kind of birthday that people get up for. right? right. so to have a completely free schedule on this day takes effort.

I bet I come across as one grumpy son of a bitch

but I’m not! I’ve cultivated this situation.
I do this every year. nothing. I can’t say that for sure, though, because I certainly don’t remember all of my birthdays. I already mentioned 29 above, but I don’t remember 28. or 27. I think that at 26 I came up to DC from Charlottesville and spent most of the night with my brother pumping quarters into a Ms. Pac-Man machine at the bus station. 25 I can’t remember.
at 24, I worked at a newspaper in California. I didn’t really tell anyone about it, but around quitting time it was discovered that I was sitting on the news that it was my birthday and so we all went to the local bar, the Owl, for a beer. me, the city reporter who doubled as my roommate, the sports editor, the 40-something metalhead copy editor, and the guy who administered the paper’s website. the Owl was noisy and prone to bar fights, full of meatheads and MMA wannabes, and I drank a Fat Tire. just one! I remember this.
when I turned 21 in college, I stayed in and wrote an English paper. it was due the next day. I got a B.
but what I’m getting at is that it’s been a while since I’ve made an event out of April 26. and so here is 30. it’s a beautiful day outside. I’m drinking a latte and listening to this band called Dust. and I’m watching this busy corner of DC from the window of this coffee shop. there’s lots of traffic passing by. April 26 is 30 to me, and another Friday to most of the world.

I’ve got half the day off. not because I asked for it, you understand. earlier this week and after the work bell rang, my office held a big-ass reception and invited to it a bunch of members of Congress, union officials, pundits and the like. and so I shook lots of hands and made lots of small talk. I wound up next to the rep from Northwest Indiana who beat my uncle in a primary in 1984. and while he waited for his picture to be taken I complimented another representative on his beard — an awkward thing to say to someone who isn’t an elected official — and he was actually pretty cool about it.
and that was my contribution to the event. Jesus! but for our collective effort to look professional in the presence of DC glitterati, the boss gave the office half the day off.
the boss is an alright dude.
and so with my half day free I walked up to this coffee shop and ordered that latte. and I just finished it, and here I am at 30. and I still have a blog. you’re dang right I do!

very 2004

last month I visited my sister in Indianapolis. she turned 27 on Tuesday, incidentally, and I failed to call her because I’m a jackass. we had joint birthday parties when we were tiny, always in the back yard of our home in northern Virginia. while in Indianapolis I told my sister — my one and only sister, who’s getting hitched in two months — that I have no reservations or worries about turning 30. really. how the fuck do you have reservations about an inevitable event anyway?
there would be no crisis, I said. there is no crisis. but there would be a few changes. lifestyle changes. I’ll be keeping the details to myself. but the broad resolution, the umbrella under which all of these changes can shelter and what I told my sister, is: I’m gonna stop acting like such an asshole all the time.
pretty vague, right? that’s a hell of a prescription, to become a better person. by whose measure? and by what markers? mine, I guess. great! no oversight. I hope they aren’t set entirely off.
anyway, we’ll see how it goes. here I am at 30. I’m gonna do my best not to be an asshole this decade. your criticism is welcome. lets give it a shot.


2 comments so far

  1. hannah on

    happy birthday/good luck trying not to be an asshole. seems overrated?

  2. […] still listening to this Dust […]

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