My day

So my birthday has come and nearly gone again, I am at the apogee of my next year, the furthest point from the next time this day comes around again. For the most part I haven’t done a lot today. I visited with a friend, opened an unexpected present, and hung out with my son. We munched on cherry cheesecake and walked Umbrella Academy season one. I also got my free coffee at Dutch Bros. today.

The funny thing about free coffee this morning was they all asked me what I was going to do for my birthday. I even woke up this morning to a text wishing me happy birthday from someone I spent time growing up with long ago. She hoped I was having adventures today. Honest, today was so sedate, I wondered if there was something wrong with me. Really I had no desire to do much. With everyone still on lockdown and forced to wear masks anywhere you turn, hot springs still closed down until further notice, and not even a movie theatre open, my options were limited. I could either stay at home or spend money on food. I stayed at home and sliced up a sirloin roast and marinaded it to make beef jerky.

I am a wildman.

I might get some writing done tonight before I go to bed. I might not. Today was just sort of a stay at home and be lazy day. Maybe this is a symptom of the overall malaise everyone is going through these days, or maybe it’s just a part of being more comfortable in my own skin. I haven’t had FOMO for a while, mostly because nobody is really doing much to miss out on, and I’ve been busy with writing and figuring out my life these days. Letting things go.

I think back to last year and how I was just beginning a wonderful journey with the woman I was dating at the time. We spent all afternoon and most of an evening in Glenwood Springs in a hot spring listening to New Age music and then devouring an entire pizza together on the drive home. It was a great birthday, and enough to shut me up for a while about how “Nothing good ever happens on my birthday.”

The year before basically marked the end of another relationship. That was hard. It was more in line with how things had been. High expectations for a wonderful day and then the rug jerked out from underneath me. On my birthday, I have been fired two different times, had the flu as least a dozen times, been stood up for my birthday party, and any number of things that generally sucked. I’ve had some good ones. Last year, my 40th, my 21st (where the girl I was dating gave me a kilt), and a few other really good ones.

This year was neither phenomenal nor disappointing. It was peaceful, and I didn’t even have the urge to run out and get myself a gift. I was content with everything that I have. I think about those kids at Dutch this morning and that need to run out and celebrate. Maybe last year was the final time I feel that urge? Any day can be a day to run out and celebrate. Any day is the day that you can make your own.

Throughout the day I got notifications on Facebook from friends and family wishing me a Happy Birthday. It was nice to hear from everyone. It made me feel appreciated. Remembered. I sometimes thing of the past and those who are no longer in my life, and though I miss them, I can enjoy the good times and that brings me joy. I wonder if they thought of me today. I thought of them.

Tonight is not a melancholy night. No, that might happen later when I write. But for now, I am Clinton. I live. I burn with life. I love. I slay and am content. Today I became 45 years old. I’m just hitting my stride.

Writing tonight

Today I beat the hell out of myself in regards to the writing. I’ve been a little rusty, what with my mom coming up to visit for a few days. Instead of working on the book, I succumbed to the temptation of hanging out with my mom and my son. We explored Ikea, went on a few walks, and made the most of our time visiting. I didn’t do as much writing as I had hoped.

The week began with me taking Monday to do a 18.5 mile bike hike around Lake Dillon. Tuesday was spent being sore and sleeping. Today, I slept a lot too, but mostly from depression. Isolation crept in and maybe I was feeling a little hungover from having company all week.

Tonight though, I rallied and excluding this blog post, I wrote 4,000 words on the novel. Tonight’s chapter was very personal and I was glad I dug deep and got the words down. That story will fade eventually, and even though the scene I wrote is based on one dear to my heart, in time, it will be gone. It was such a wonderful memory that I couldn’t help but put it to the page.

It was about a night in June that could never be repeated. A night that taught me that there was still such a thing as magic and my romatic side throws it in my face all the time and says “See!”

It felt good to write, however sad it turned out. But the words are down and I can share that moment with anyone who cares to join me in my wanderings through memory. At least I have that. I can still hear the music. I can still hear the voices. The chill of the air. The magic of new beginnings. I get to keep it.

And I will.

Holding up pretty well

I got to thinking the other day about how much older people looked when I was younger. I think they just didn’t take care of themselves as well. People used to smoke and drink more. Cigarette smoke will just turn your skin into boot leather after a while. Exposure to the sun too, without sunscreen, ages you to look like a Las Vegas Blackjack dealer pretty quickly.

I thought of this when I was thinking back on Star Wars.

But first, lets look at some positives.

I have all of my teeth. Only one cavity in my adult life. I’m a little doughy, but with this lockdown, I think that is to be expected. I can still camp and make fire and hike for miles. I am hopeful for the future. I am pretty good with words. My hair stopped falling out in 2014. My hairline has reached an Armistice with Time. I make minimal old man sounds when sitting up or standing.

In 1983, when Luke Skywalker removed Darth Vader’s mask as he lay dying on the Second Death Star, Anakin Skywalker would have been my age. Right around 45.

I always thought he was some old man. Maybe even looking more like those guys in the Mos Eisley Cantina from Star Wars than a human. 8 year old me, just thought he looked like shit. I think my reaction after several viewings later on was “Dang, he’s old.”

So, I’m Darth Vader old.

According to the IMDB for Return of the Jedi, Sebastian Shaw was 78 when the movie was made. Which is yet another argument for George Lucas screwing up the entire franchise. Ewan McGregor is nearly 50 and he still looks great. He would have been 13 years younger than Alec Guinness in the same role when he played Obi-wan in 1977.

So, maybe I’m holding up better than I thought.

In the featured pic, that is me with my grandpa. He would have been my age right about now.

I’m the one on the left.