Thursday, January 31, 2008


The morning I turned twenty-four I stumbled into my Philosophy of Gender class at Lake Forest College to find my friend Rick sitting at our table waiting for me. As I slid into my seat he leaned over and whispered, in that flat, sarcastic way of his, "Twenty-four, huh. Looks like you're about a third of the way done."

I'll admit it, I thought I'd be riding around in hover cars by now. I also thought I'd be a famous writer / actor / director. Yes, I thought I'd grow up to be Alan Alda. I thought I'd have money and status, a big home, influential friends, power beyond my wildest dreams. When I was a kid I wrote a soap opera, this little thing I called Love Affair, which told the story of all my friends (some of whom are reading this blog right now) in an imaginary future where we plotted and schemed, broke hearts, had our hearts broken and wore fabulous clothes while doing things that only happened on television, like buying and selling fancy hotels, dying in season three only to come back to life in season five with a new face and a taste for vengeance. It was a gargantuan thing: at one episode a week for thirty weeks a year, it would take you thirteen years to catch up to me. I envisioned a future vastly different than the one I eventually inherited, but on the eve of my thirty-seventh birthday (seriously, don't congratulate me, congratulate my mother; she did all the work and deserves most of the credit) I'm looking back on my past and my once-imagined present while completely ignoring the future (too big, too scary, don't go there!) and I have to say, although it may not be the one I'd hoped for or dreamed up, it could be a lot worse. I've got great friends, a wonderful partner, a job that is completely unsatisfying and devoid of meaning but almost manages to pays the bills, a nice place to live, three terrific cats and the most amazing dog I could've asked for. It's not a lot, but it's what I've got and I've learned enough to be thankful for what's in front of me. I could ask for a lot more but I could also have a lot less.

This morning one of the women I work with asked me how old I will be tomorrow and when I told her she nodded her head and thought a moment before saying. "Halfway through, aye, kid?"

None of it matters. What matters is that I walked Duncan today and I'll walk him again tomorrow. If this is all there is, I'm good with that.

Except I'd really like that hover car.


Ruth said...

I'm giving you a hover car for your birthday.

NodakJack said...

Happy Birthday boy. You know how I feel about you and that day thirty-seven years ago. No one can love you more...maybe as much, but never more.
You're what every Dad wants from a sunny boy like you.