Friday, September 19, 2008

At 30

Last night, on the eve of my 30th birthday, I watched a dozen people try to squeeze through holes in moveable walls.  It's a game show.  They call it Hole in the Wall.  It's based on a Japanese game show called Brain Wall.  I'd seen clips of Brain Wall before--on Conan O'Brien I think--and I was hopeful.  It was silly, and there's just something inherently hilarious about Japanese game shows.  Unfortunately, as Brain Wall traversed the Pacific it was captured by FOX executives and injected with the irradiated blood of Jerry Springer.  Of the twelve contestants I saw, three were extraordinarily effeminate waiters, three were "little people," and three were female bodybuilders.  The bodybuilders were voiced by Harvey Fierstein.  All wore tight, metallic silver jumpsuits.

Then at midnight I turned 30.  I must say I started my birthday in a bit of a 'mood.'  I thought about the hour I spent watching body-builders wriggle through yellow styrofoam, and it felt like a microcosm of my life.  Seriously.  I had hurled an hour into oblivion.  It was dead.  I sacrificed it in the name of distraction.  I sacrifice a lot in the name of distraction.

When I awoke this morning, I didn't feel any better.  All I could think about is what I haven't done.  I haven't been able to provide a stable living for my family.  I'm unpublished.  I don't even have a complete short story I can be proud of.  I end sentences with prepositions.  So I moped.  I moped while I drank coffee.  I moped through my oatmeal.  I moped as I went to class.  Class was good, but I got my mope back on the way home. 

I entered the apartment building and then . . . MAGIC.  Mary Ann had gotten the boys to make birthday cards for me.  Leo had made some scribbles on one side of the card and signed the other.  Mary Ann had traced Finn's hand on one card, and the last card, Max's card, had a picture of me driving a giant 'drill tank.'  Max had drawn it himself.  He had also written me a happy birthday message.  Mope melted away as I was reminded of my family's love for me.

Ladies and gentlemen, when I come through the door of my apartment my three boys run to meet me.  They run and shout, "DADDY!"  Even Finn, who just turned one.  My wife worked hard to make my birthday good today.  I am thrilled to have the family I have.

I may not be a published author, and I may not have as much money as I think we need, but I won't surrender to self-pity.  I'm know I'll keep distracting myself.  There may be, heaven forbid,  another 300 lb., silver jump-suited waiter in my future.  But the love that lives in this apartment will remind me that I have am not a failure.  At 30, I am a man blessed by God.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Blessings bud.

Jimmy Cricks