Yeah, I know. I haven't exactly been a writing machine of late. Truth be told, I haven't been feeling massively creative lately. (With the exception of trying to craft the perfect "sex weasel" image. Oh, and don't look up the phrase "sex weasel" on Google. There are some seriously screwed up people out there.) I think that nasty bug I had a wee bit back really put a cramp in my style. I'm better now, but still feeling a little wussy.
Plus, I've been dealing with Matters Financial when I'm not at work, and when I'm at work, I'm just pretty dang busy. (But in a very good way.) I get home and I just want to crash and burn. I jump in the shower, brush and floss, and then, I'm all about the shut-eye. I'm aiming for some additional sack time on Saturday which I hope will help rejuvenate me.
Fingers, toes, and eyes crossed.
Today is my brother Ed's birthday. He's 53. His health isn't great, and he spent his birthday in the hospital, hooked up to all sorts of unpleasant devices. I felt really, really horrible that his day was spent without any of us being able to be around him, if just for a few minutes. The hospital staff sang "Happy Birthday" to him, but that's not really the same thing, is it?
I was feeling a little melancholy on my birthday this past year. It's not that I expected a big surprise party or some huge, great gift, but I felt like it was a milestone that really wasn't marked in any significant way. I went out for dinner with a friend. He gave me a new cd. I went home. I probably put too much emphasis on birthdays, but at heart, I'm someone for whom the symbolism of milestones and birthdays is important. I am, sometimes, a very primitive being with an emotional, small brain, and I've seen too many TV shows and Lifetime movies with those big, boisterous 40th birthday parties, with tons of people cheering on the birthday girl/guy. And I guess, selfishly, I just wanted my 40th birthday to be a Big Deal for someone. Anyone, other than myself. Marked with something out of the ordinary - a wee fuss on my behalf. I was, frankly, having a really crappy year, and I wanted to feel special in some way. Is that so abnormal or churlish?
And yet, now, I feel like a cad for ever thinking so self-centeredly.
And besides, how can I possibly complain?
I had the company of one of the finest friends I will ever have in my life. A wonderful person. That, in of itself, is a tremendous thing, with a value beyond gems. In a lifetime, many people will not have a single friend whom they truly cherish. I am lucky. I am blessed.
And my greedy retrospection seems so shallow when my brother spent his birthday alone, hooked to machines to aid his failing kidneys. Makes me feel pretty damn low and childish.
All of my petty gripes and wants diminish in light of the fragility of another life. Despite being stretched thin over the past year, my life still has some elasticity left, while my brother's has grown brittle and delicate. And I would trade any fine gift to grant him fresh life.
But I don't think, short of a deal with that imaginary bastard, the Devil, I can do that.
So, instead, I'll sing "Happy Birthday" a second time into my brother's answering machine and just think every good thought I can. And then go to sleep and hope tomorrow to hear a voice a thousand miles away again.