Apparently, I am a creature of habit. I'm also living on deficit spending now, so I'm glad I have frequent caffeine addict's loyalty points to cover my Mayorga addiction. I settled into a big leather chair at the back of the cafe, nursed my coffee, and tried to focus on the coverage of Tom and Katie's Scientology space clam monster fetus in People Magazine. But, alas, I was too distracted by other stuff going on in my skull to worry much about whether or not Katie screams throughout her drug-free labor. I had my cell phone out, willing it to ring with a job offer.
No such luck.
Finally, I hauled my ass out of the comfy chair to hit the road. And that's when I saw him. The Lesko. In his favorite spot - the leather couch & chair corner up front by the door. Today, his bright colors were replaced with something a little more low-key for him: a black suit with hot pink question marks, a hot pink shirt & tie, and truly hideous hot pink duck-type shoes. I guess this is what the Riddler would wear to a funeral. He was having an animated cell phone conversation, hands waving in the air.
I opted to not wave hello this time. I just got in my car and started the drive home, watching the gas gauge and considering buying another lottery ticket. I understand why the poor buy lottery tickets. It's a little thrill of hope. I bought a scratcher. I lost on all 15 possible wins. Hopefully, tomorrow will bring a fruitful phonecall. That'd be better than a lottery ticket any old day, and I could use some good news before this month is out.
In 12 days, on November 1st, I turn 40. It would be nice to be re-employed by then. (It would also be nice to have a million dollars and Julian McMahon as my cabana boy.)
Most of y'all who read my blog are younger than I am. What do you want to do for your 40th birthday? What do you hope to have done by that date?
I've been to 27 countries. Lived in three (well, four if you count Russia and the Soviet Union as separate entities.)
I've seen Mt. Ararat and touched the Rosetta Stone (I'm lucky I didn't get my ass kicked by museum security), crossed the Nile in a felucca, and put my hand in the Boca della Verita.
I've been held at gunpoint multiple times in Russia. I've been mugged at knifepoint in Thailand. I've been arrested for disturbing the peace in Uzbekistan and smuggled into Kazakhstan without proper papers.
I've stood at the foot of Air Force One as the president deplaned for a summit, with the lights of the world press illuminating us. (Which was incredibly thrilling.)
I've been in the same room with 7 U.S. presidents (spoken to two - Nixon in person, Clinton over the phone) and I've stood at the podium in the White House Press Room and sat in the president's chair in the West Wing situation room. (Silly, sure - but cool to do!)
I was offered a job by a music industry executive at the bar in the Hard Rock Cafe in London on my 21st birthday in 1986. (I turned him down. That's one of the great "what-if" moments of my life.)
I worked for Gopher from "The Love Boat." (He's one of my employment references.)
I've written for the radio, but I've never been published in a real magazine or written a book.
I saw the Soviet Union fall, incredibly up close and in person.
I witnessed a murder so close my shoes were spattered with the victim's blood.
I held my father's hand as he died.
I missed my mother's death by an hour.
I've seen and heard things I can't explain scientifically. (Sorry, Penn & Teller.)
I've done a lot of stupid things, and a few smart ones.
I've been in love, but no one has ever been in love with me.
I have regrets, fears, and a lot of challenges in my life. Right now, I'm in a pretty dark place, but I hope things get better. Regardless of what the future holds, I cannot say I have not lived in these 40 years. I have the scars to prove it all.
Make sure you have some scars, too, before you turn 40. Don't live in a bubble. Get dirty. Love someone - even if they don't love you back (just don't go into restraining order territory, okay?) Have an adventure or two or three. Take pictures. Write about it. And treat people with decency whenever possible.
It's not the years, honey - it's the mileage.