The Last Birthday


A certain someone wanted me to write about something real serious tonight, but time is not on my side. A whole lot to do before day breaks, and a new book to start reading. Borrowed it from the friendliest and engaging public servant I have ever met. The Memory Keeper’s Daughter…mind you I’ve only read the blurb of it, yet I should finish it by this Friday….talk of high expectations. Sigh!

That brings me to something: I like reading books at my own pace. Never hurried; fast but never hurried. It gives you time to absorb the beauty of it all, and for one to immerse themselves wholly into this imaginary world beautifully crafted and inscribed to awe and grasp your mind. I only read that which amazes me, be it by words used, style, creativity. All of it because anything else is a waste of a mighty tree cut down. Which is why I have a particular aversion towards self-help books, but that’s a story for another day.

Oh wow, look at me…this post was supposed to be about new beginnings and fresh starts and milestones. It seems I stayed a wee bit on track seeing that I’m starting a new book.

More specifically, I’m thinking of birthdays. Not royal babies and stuff, no because my attitude towards aristocracy is more or less the same as that towards self-help books, and boiled pumpkins.

Birthdays are initially fun, anticipated and glorified. We all want to grow older, to be the grown-up one, the one in charge. Then it gets to puberty and they become a pseudo-nightmare. Each year a wave, carrying on its crest another tumultuous biological development, almost like a tsunami. You get enough warnings, but they still hit hard and change everything…and there effect lasts for all to see.

Birthdays in adulthood get real creepy too. A continuous reminder of just how old you are, how fast you are suddenly turning into your mum/dad and endlessly nagging you to accomplish those stereotypical life goals. Family, house, car.

That’s why I think the last truly enjoyable birthday, the only one still bearing any real meaning for celebration like we did as kids, and still permitting of a slight dose of naivety is and always will be your 20th birthday. That stepping stone between the stormy hormone-ridden seas of adolescence and the shaky yet worldly and realistic confines of adulthood. That last year where you get to sample both the tasty soft meats reserved for the kids, yet get the chance to take that daring nibble of the venerated and reserved gizzards. (Not everyone will understand this)

So to you, my friend, ROCK IT HARD!

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