My favourite comment from yesterday came from delilah_noone who, when she saw me, said, "Is it really your birthday?"
It made me laugh 'cause who lies about their birthday? I had this image of a whole heap of her friends coming up to her through her life and saying, "Today's my birthday... no, wait, tomorrow." And then repeating the same thing every month except for August, where strangely no one had a birthday, but there were a lot of parties she wasn't invited to. I guess maybe there are people who do lie about birthdays to get more shit and attention, or whatever it is that you get on that day, but I've always found the whole thing oddly traumatic. People you don't want to see appear. People abuse you. People are nice to you. And, er... well, actually, I guess that sums up the day, in one way or another. There are also terrorist attacks and you get older and, really, who wants that?
But I've gotten tired of the trauma that comes from my birthday, especially now that I've removed all the fucked family from my life, and that I've rebuilt my head space in the last couple of years.
Here's a story that even oddly links to this. Plus, it's kind of funny. Anyhow: a couple of days before my birthday, when I met Jeff and Anne VanderMeer and Anne Sydenham and Anna Tambour (check the photos cause they're funny), I ran into this girl I went to High School with on the train. Well, actually, it was the bus because track work was going on, but that's another complaint. So, anyway: I ran into this girl who, in the mythology of my school-life, my friend and I sent to a psychiatrist. That was in year eight, when I was a slightly crueler and less caring an individual, but I still maintain that neither my friend and I did anything that bad. Still, we were spoken to about her, and told we'd sent her into therapy, charted it up as a success, and didn't much think about it afterwards because I am, if anything, shallow. So are my friends. And in the years after, she became known as The Girl We Once Sent to a Psychiatrist (or Maybe Psychologist).
And I ran into this girl.
And she remembered me, naturally.
She had gotten a few tattoos, gotten thinner, but at the same time turned leathery, and had her make-up applied heavily. If you're from Sydney, know that she spoke with the real Westie accent, and if you're not from Sydney, well, I'm not sure how to explain it to you. She had her two kids with her, one of which she referred to as, "Little Dickhead," and the other who, in the aim to have thematic unity, I will refer to as "Little Shithead". Little Dickhead and Little Shithead were annoying, and not just because I find most children annoying, but because they squirmed and moved and every minute and their mother said, "Stop doing that," before returning to conversation with me. It was the combination of all three that got me.
We did the whole what are you doing now kind of thing, where I found out that she'd recently split with the father of her kids, and was now going to do a bar tending course. The father wasn't good for her, the course will get her a job, and that sounded fair enough to me. I gave my Uni student/writer/tutor rundown. She asked if I had a book, and I said next year, and she said she would buy a copy. She then asked what it was about. I gave my dystopian racial globalization ramble-rundown of it, and she said, "Excellent. Sounds like it's about showing how those Asians should go home, yeah?"
"Oh. Well. I'll still have a look for it."
No longer buying, I see.
I ditched out on her as soon as I could because Little Dickhead and Little Shithead were annoying and their mother was racist, but I was impressed by the change she had gone through. I doubted that she'd now go to the psychiatrist for things that a friend of mine and I would say, but would instead perhaps attack me with a broken glass. Of course, the other side of that is that I'm not the teenager who would hassle someone to the point where they would end up in therapy. I have more concern for people now. I'm a people person. I love everyone.
Lets just say I'm different now.
And (to link this back to the beginning of the post) I'm different to when my birthdays would really suck. When it would bring out the nasty things, when I'd hide from people, when I'd go and hide in the womb warmth of my depression. So instead of hiding from my b-day, I figured yesterday I'd just deal with it like some sort of adult, hang with friends, and get you all to share your good things, which I liked. Sure, it sounds like bullshit, but how often do you get to share the little good things (I would have even taken the bad things and depression)? And it was different to what I usually do. Like the gaping void card at the top suggests, "Change or fucking die."
I'm all about the change this year.