Birthdays have seldom meant much to me since I turn 12 and found out that the transition from 11 to 12 did not mean I woke up to find myself an entirely different, cooler person. I was still Geoffrey Dow, not Pete Hollister, nor was I romantically entangled with his brilliant sister, Pam.
Still, as Friday ground on, the thought - "My Christ, how can it be? Forty ...?" - continued to recur.
The sound of the new decade belies any possible claim I might still have had to being, er, youthful if not truly young. So, yes, this birthday provided some food for thought, if not intense self-reflection. Young Geoffrey? I'm torn about the already ironic appelation. But I digress.
I had a frustrating day at the office on Friday and was both amused and enraged when I hoped on my bike and had the gear-shift cable snap as I started to peddal across Spadina. Motherfucker was stuck in top (or is the bottom? The hardest-to-peddal) gear and, worse, the salt and slush have got into the mechanism, so it k-chunks, jarring my knees and making it even more difficult to pick up speed.
Long story short, my normal joy in seing Laura settled on the couch when I got home was doubled or trebled. So happy was I to see her, to hold her, that I barely noticed she'd indulgent one of my sadly typical fantasies and worn her old private-school uniform to honour my official entrance to the geriatric ward of life.
Thanks to Laura, I also got out of the apartment. We found our way to the Rex, where the music wasn't that good, the waitress was snarky and where we were soon joined by Vern and Helen and by sck, who stole a glass for me and who, by the way ladies is single and possibly available. Quirky, sardonic and generous in a strange way, the one-eyed troll is new to Hogtown and weary of explaining Objectivism to the drug dealers and prostitutes who argue and fight below the window of his Parkdale apartment. Tell him Young Geoffrey sent you, but if things don't work out, save your complaints for your journal, not mine.
The digressions just keep coming, don't they?
I'm now only a couple of hours away from being smoke-free for 2 weeks. Last night I spent with Vern and Helen, drank far too much until far too late, while both puffed guiltily away but I felt almost now cravings for the noxious weed. I'm on step 2 of the patch, meaning my nicotine intake is down to 14 rather than 21 mgs a day. Tuesday, I move to step 3 for a week and then ... well, we'll see. One day at a time and all that.
This is the first time I've used the patch more or less as directed. It certainly seems to have taken the edge of the worst of the mood swings and cravings, but on the other hand, making the transition from step 1 to 2 last Monday found me going through withdrawal all over again, so it seems to prolong the process.
One try being about as far from a double-blind experiment I can only say that this time it seems to be helping me.
Finally, I've actually been working on my site and am confident (confident! I tells ya!) I'll be announcing the launch of version two before the week is out. And after that, I'll be updating as often as I do this - er, well, more often than once every 3 years.
That's it. I need some breakfast. Or something.
I'll leave you with a gratuitous photo of Laura, just because.