Tag: birthday

Where I Am Now

My favorite days are like earth after rain, rich with soft soil smell, a little warm, a little damp. I make tea but forget to drink it, and the smell of it, heavy and sweet, fills the room. I spent a Saturday sobbing, once, and the Sunday after dying of laughter. It served as a good reminder: putting on clean jeans and making it outside, that’s heroic, sometimes. My heart is a silly thing, half-formed, still catalyzing, but it’s still my heart. I am no Achilles, no Alexander, but I don’t mourn it, this mortal that I am, these places where I am now.

On bad days, there isn’t a prophet alive who can help me out of the darkness, but my mother’s face, blurred almost beyond recognition by an Internet connection strung across the Atlantic, does the trick. When I look at her, I remember how she never cried the day I left home, and I now realize that was the greatest kindness she could ever have showed me. I’m realizing a lot of things, as of late, and they make me want to punch myself in the face and kiss a stranger, in equal measure.

My body, this year: the back of my ankles dry, the curve of my wrist warm, some parts of me like peeled oranges, yellowing wheat, husks of cinnamon, belly flab, short legs, acne on my chin; I should get more sleep, I should eat better. It’s hard, and getting harder; nobody ever told me that. Even for the stars in space, life is nothing but resisting inner pressure and external gravity, inward and outward forces. But I think life can’t be measured according to difficulty, along a spectrum of extremes. I am not better, I am not worse. What I am, where I am now: that has yet to be determined.

I am nineteen in two hours.

Happy Birthday, Alex.

One of the greatest things about having a younger brother is his invariable cluelessness to all sorts of academic and everyday matters: “Who’s Hitler?” or “How do you fold a shirt?”

I have the developed the habit of jabbering continually in his presence about some topic or another, and then stopping mid-way to ask “do you know what that is?” His answer is always a “no”, and even if it’s a “yes” I ignore him and explain it anyway.

Alex, The Baby Formerly Known As Alexander, is my best friend FOREVER. Once I swore to myself that I’d never use “forever” in reference to another person, because, jeez, it’s cheesy, and nothing is forever and yadda yadda yadda. But this is my noodle-noggined, lightsaber-wielding, ballroom-dancing, pain-in-the-ass baby brother we’re talking about. And everyone has someone they’re willing to relax the rules a little bit for (but only a little, you hear me, Alex? No playing on my Pokemon Diamond save!)

Today is the last day I’ll ever be exactly double Alex’s age. Tomorrow, April 27th, he is nine, and I lose a chunk of my bossy, know-it-all sister advantage. Some day we’ll reach a point where I’ll ask “do you know what that is?” and he’ll roll his eyes at me in a very LIKE, DUH fashion. Then I’ll just have to squint at him real spinster-like, jab him in the stomach and explain it to him anyway.