Tuesday, February 10, 2009
I’ve been thinking some about the significance of birthdays. Their meaning, what omens they might portend, and the fact that I seem to be accumulating ever more of them.
For a long time, I’ve made a point of fleeing the country during mine. A February birthday is one of life’s little jokes. Happy birthday, here’s some sleet. And maybe a side order of existential dread. Last year, I spent the big day chasing lizards in South Africa. Other years have been spent sweating through Kalahari lightning storms, shunning prostitutes in Manila and cruising New Zealand’s fjords. This year the arrival of my baby brother’s text message, “Wow, you’re sure old...” woke me from a sound sleep in Kona, Hawaii.
I looked at the message on my phone, sighed and then took a snapshot of the palm trees outside my patio at dawn, sending the picture back as my reply. I may be getting older, but by God I’m going to do it with a tan.