THE MUMBLINGS OF ADAM VOITH
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"29"
Saturday, Oct. 25, 2003 @ 3:48 pm

To shit with a bunch of “I don’t want to get old” and otherwise scripted banter around birthdays. I, for one, am enjoying the process of aging. It seems now that “My Birthday” is forgiven easily with its attempts to stretch and grow beyond that one constricting box on the calendar.

The official date was Oct 20, but the festivities began early Oct 18 with my wife, parking garages, and shopping malls – all tackled in good form, no cuts and scrapes! Oct 19 the party raged on with a mad cleaning of the house, the perfect gift for “29”, my neurosis more pervasive with age, a constant burning in the arms and legs to grab a vacuum, brush the cats, wipe down the refrigerator door.

In a clean kitchen, I stood over a shiny counter and birthday cake with Tom, a father-to-be, his wife at home, well rounded and due tomorrow, the birthday! He asks me how it feels to hit the last year of the 20s, and I tell him I like a few more pounds, a few less cares, a wife, a job, and a laptop.

“I think, really, it’s all good until you hit 50 or 60, right?” I ask, and I think about how little a 29th must seem in the back of Tom’s head, expecting about his own little one starting off with the first year, the Zero!

The official Big Day brought some cards in the mail, and this was the year my grandmother’s card stopped holding a check. This is a mixed blessing walking from the PO Box, toward the bank, aiming at the record store. In all honesty, I’d felt a convincing pang of guilt each year with consistency since “24” when cashing her twenty dollar notes, knowing she’s down to the wire, counting pennies for remaining days. She’s a fair woman, and with each year I tack on, I count on fingers the best and worst case scenarios for how much longer before I go to the first family funeral sure to fuck me up.

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