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Hey Infinity is 6 years old now – being just have had a birthday this month. And no, no one sent it or me birthday cake. Yes, we are offended.

This means I created this little space on the internet when I was 20. Back when I wasn’t legally allowed to drink – one year before I bought my first (and only yet) bottle of adorably pink, strawberry Boone’s Farm wine, and tiny rainbow-sprinkled cupcakes for the crazy 21st celebration I had with my friend and her cat. One year after I voted in my first Presidential election, smiling as I colored in the tiny bubble with a pencil to support Barack Obama, thinking to myself that much-younger me would have been shocked to know that my Republican parents’ opinions hadn’t stuck with me to adulthood.

When it was a new infinity and not a 6-year infinity veteran, I ordered some tiny business cards that have the website on one side and “I think you’re beautiful” on the other.The idea was, I am pretty sure, to give those away to people so they knew this place existed, or forcefully leave them on cars, or stick them in random places wherever I found myself – all of which I never did. When they arrived in the mail, I opened my package to find someone else’s cards, listing actual helpful information like a contact email. I emailed the lady, told her I had gotten her cards by mistake, and suggested the following: She would probably get my cards in the mail soon, and when she did, we would swap, and also report the error to the printer, thereby getting another order for free from them. And she agreed! It worked out well in the end. And so, yes, I have two tiny boxes of tiny business cards that I still am planning on someday giving away. Probably. Maybe in 6 more years.

I’ve been thinking about that statement a lot recently. “I think you’re beautiful.” Six years ago, I was infatuated with newness. With people. With places and all that they held. The world was magical to me. I wanted to see all of it. I wanted to tell everyone that they were a beautiful story. I wanted to write them all poems about the sky.

Right now, it is so hard to feel that way. Is it not? There seems to be so much more hatred and violence and sadness and fear and global warming. Our planet is dying, and we are dying, and our teeth are falling out.

I know it is all still there, everything I used to see. I am searching for it, still. I want to feel all of those things again, and just as deeply. It was a wonderful way to be.

There is goodness and beauty. There will be safety and logic. We will keep going, together. Please send cake next year.

A twinkle of a sound. A flash of color. A tiny smile.

A skeleton eating homemade pies in a small room. A kitchen used for heating soup, boiling potatoes, making liters and liters and liters of coffee.

An obituary: a rotting smell, an ancient, beautiful young man.

A Christmas card, a useless lung, an empty bed, much laughter, an understanding, five or six months.

How many words did you speak before this? How many after? How many words have you read before this? How many after?

It is not anger, it is sadness. Another death. It will be the last.

 

 

Moving on: We will build a wood cabin in the forest of the sadness of this year. We will cut the trees and form the boards. (We will plant replacement trees and beg the nature spirits to forgive us.)

We will see new places and meet new people. (These people will not have social problems and will love us.) We will make beautiful art and music. There will be more joy than any heartbreak of the last decade.

We will be kind and strong. We will move on like creek waters from things and people who will prefer to stay behind.

I was laying in bed thinking about how I miss the sixties and also how I have practically no idea what the sixties were like but that my mom was born then and my dad was young then and my grandmother was alive then.

It is such a rush. We are all in such a rush. Where are we all going? There is only death at the end.

My grandmother died when I was 3. I remember her as a tall, thin, cherry of a woman. She looks elegant in photographs. I think about her a lot, though there’s not much to think.

I’m going to be 26 next month. That’s happening. I don’t know how. My mom called me old last time I talked to her on the phone. How did that happen? I wasn’t even rushing.

I have a cute apartment. I like it a lot. There’s lots of windows and sunshine and pillows and plants. That’s happening. I still want to run away from all of it; I still plan to. I still don’t want to be the person with a nice car and a nice, well-paying, boring job. I never want to be that.

My grandmother was that. She was a proper lady of the fifties, with lots of babies and a full-time job at a car factory. She was beautiful. I wear her jewelry now. She died of Leukemia.

It all ends in death or changes which is another death. All I want to do is fill up my life with colors and adventures and happiness and lovely people for as long as I can.

Happy Spring.

I pressed a fingertip to the condensation-covered window, watched as a droplet formed and fell, sliding down the glass, gathering more water as it went, leaving a streak of clarity in its path. And that’s typically what happens, isn’t it? Like salt water traveling on skin — it must happen to you, too — losing something, even that small, leaves you with something else.

I hadn’t heard from him in a few days. Didn’t know if he was alive or dead. That was me being dramatic, but it was also true. Somewhere out there between here and there was a postcard, full of cramped writing, the few sentences I could write when I wanted to say so much more. I was sitting there by the window thinking about that little card, flying somewhere over the ocean — or maybe it was on a boat, I don’t know, I didn’t know, what do I know about the global postal system? — It’s amazing how much we don’t know.

A few days later the “January Meltdown” stopped and the water turned back into ice and it snowed again, covering the tracks in my front yard almost entirely, leaving only tiny impressions in the snowy expanse. And that’s typically what happens, isn’t it, memories almost completely wiped away by some deciding neurons in our brains that don’t ask us permission. And now I can barely remember her sitting across the table from me, and I have no idea what we talked about for so long so long ago. It’s amazing how much we can’t remember. Time doesn’t go by quickly, we forget it.

I’ve been listening to this one song a lot lately. It has this clicking sound in it, made by those wooden instruments, Google says that they’re called claves. That sound reminds me of you, reminds me of other songs we listened to together. I almost sent you the link, almost told you to listen, hey, listen, you might like this song, but I didn’t. I would have, four months ago, two months ago. Too much time has passed between us now. Too many changes of the seasons, too many new days, too many memories wiped away, filled in with something else.

Now we’re all different people who can’t remember what it was like before — it must happen to you, too. And it doesn’t matter that we all don’t have to wait day by day for a tiny postcard, doesn’t matter that we’re all at each others fingertips. There is still a silence, and it grows, time freezes it over like the water on my window.

1. Where’s Monaco? I think it’s by France. Or maybe it’s in France. Or maybe they just speak French there.

2. The next time you see someone you don’t know, go up to them, introduce yourself, and ask them how old they are. Let’s get over this whole my-age-is-my-secret crap!

3. Girls! Why are so many of you so pitifully needy? That’s not attractive, and it makes me hate you a little bit. Stop.

4. Has anyone else ever thought about how weird wisdom teeth are?

5. Why do we name hurricanes? Isn’t that sort of the same as giving a serial killer lots of media attention?

6. When people die, newspapers usually give them a one-liner obituary. A lot of the time it’s something like, “Betty enjoyed knitting.” What will your obituary sentence be?

7.  Are “hipsters” even a thing anymore?

8. Can we all just be honest with each other and talk about how ugly TOMS shoes are?!

9. In novels, there are flat characters and round characters. The same goes for real life. Are you a flat character or a round one?

10.  If someone tells you that they don’t like an idea that you have – even if you think it’s really great – accept it. Move on. They don’t like it! End of story. What are you, an only child?

 

I’m turning 21 in less than a week.

And, I bet I can guess what image just popped into your head: Young people going out, celebrating, getting drunk, smashed, hammered, etc.

Right? Welcome to the socially acceptable 21st birthday jamboree in the USA!

Happy 21st! Hope you enjoy this birthday — it’s all downhill from here!

What do I say to that?

Boring.

I’m not a drinker. The thought that I’ll be “legal”, able to buy myself a drink at midnight, doesn’t excite me.

I hope to spend my 21st anniversary of life in a different way.

That said, I’m not sure what I should do – 21 is the drinking birthday. That’s all the internet guides talk about – bar hopping, getting people to buy you drinks, gift ideas which involve fancy cocktail glasses…

Last year I had a really great birthday: I went to the Detroit Zoo. Even though I didn’t get to see the Giraffes (that costs extra!), I still liked wandering around. Then, I went to the movies. Then, I had ice cream with one of my long-time friends. It was an all-day celebration with people I loved. And that’s what I think birthdays are good for. Not pondering your ever-increasing old age (I mean, my god, I’m going to be 21! I’m freaking ancient!) Being happy, surrounded by your friends and/or family, and celebrating your life!

I guess all this “OMG You’re TWENTY-ONE? You know what that means!” business is ruffling my happy-birthday-feathers. So what if I can drink now? I mean, sure, that’s great, in four more days America will trust me with alcohol. Thanks, America!

Yippee, goody-goody. I’d rather spend my B-day exploring some new city,  or playing Catch Phrase with every awesome person I’ve ever met (I LOVE Catch Phrase!), or lying on a grassy knoll at night staring up at the stars and discussing the meaning of life, the universe, and everything! (Seriously, you wanna?)

Anyway, my point is, if you want to go have a drink or twelve on your 21st, go for it. If not, spend the day however you truly want to: celebrate yourself, celebrate your life! Happy Birth Day!

And, lastly, don’t listen to those people when they say that your 21st is the last “important” birthday – that is so not true! Every birthday is important – don’t let that importance slip away!