Thursday, March 24, 2011

12:10 pm

Any minute now my phone will ring. I won't bother investigating the identity of the caller nor will I contemplate an appropriate method of ignoring it. I'll simply pick up.

Or no, maybe I shouldn't watch the time, in the event that there might be a new angle this year. Sometimes things get changed up.

What is constant though is the fact that the caller will make me giddy. My lips will chafe from stretching, my teeth in full display. I'll feel like a kid again -- and Lord knows I need that -- and my mind will race like young me, wild and free through the backyard on a cool spring day.

At 12:10 pm in 5th grade I convinced my teacher to let the class sing happy bday to me. The exact time of my birth.

I am nothing if not motivated by acceptance and love, so birthdays suit me quite well. I make grand gestures of the dates of birth of those close to me, mostly because the joy of celebrating ones life is an emotion I hold dear. But part of me is probably calling in a favor.

Remember me on March 24.

There was one year there was no call. Well, no, there was a call, but I was the one who made it. I had to dial in to get my own birthday wishes.

As time inches toward noon, I'm overwhelmed and overwrought with the pride of a woman much simpler than I. My arrival in this world 30-something years ago, my family squatting like Major League catchers, ready to field me at home plate. Future friends in bassinets sprinkled across our town, across the world even, settled in, preparing to round the bases where our paths will inevitably cross someday. Others still simmering in the gut like last night's lasagna, ready for release. Others still not even a thought or misstep in their parents' daily walk.

At 12:10 pm my mother might call me. To tell me I wasn't a mistake. That missteps I've made are a part of life, and that she's proud to claim me. That my father was a mess when I arrived and that he's proud of me too. That it's ok to miss him.

Or she may wait until the kids are home or siblings pass through so that one call can be made. Kind of like all those calls placed during holiday meals that I missed over the years.

That God has seen fit to deliver me to this world, in this way, at this moment in time, is why birthdays are the best gifts. Ever. Like Easy Bake Oven* or Snoopy Snow Cone Machine* best.

The days and months leading up to today have been a This is Your Life exercise set to dim lights and dark harmonies. But today, even for this one moment at 12:10 pm, I am sure that this is in fact my life, whether I'm pleased with the rough cuts or not.

I trust that the moment is yet to arrive. But it's coming...

(*my parents, anti-dumb American shit Jamaicans that they are, did not believe in either toy and therefore would neither field nor dignify inquiries or requests for them or any other dumb shit that American kids cried for.)

***Updated: The call came in at 12:28pm...and I was notified that it is "Officially my bday," because I was in fact born on a Thurs. She was waiting all morning to call and will call me again when the kids get home so they can tell me how great I am. :) ***

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  • So...Wise??

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    Our Nation's (HIV) way of Harlem, NY and Upsteezy NY
    I'm older than I look, and stupider than you think. But I'm quite proud of my sharp eye for The Ridiculous, and by Ridiculous, of course I mean Me.