Saturday, June 17, 2006

Happy "I Left the Womb Day" Redux

So today was another birthday mired by fate and transgressions that never occured.

But let me explain.

The Eternal Dread of the Stacy Birthday began when I awoke to a day filled to the rim with work, Dialysis and anchovie pizza, but not necessarily in that order.

I had to run all the buttons, knobs and switches for our live broadcast at a business I can't remember and whose host was inconsequential.

What was important was the sixty extra dollars that were going to magically appear in my paycheck (and then suddenly diminish to $23 when the government was done.)

That's when the Anticipation was just ankle high.

With every passing moment it grew in mass and dexterity. It was waiting patiently to see who would have the honor of being the first to phone me on the day of my birth.

Halfway through the broadcast, I decided it was time to celebrate with a pepperoni, sausage and anchovie pizza to drown my sorrows in double digit fat and single digit nutrition before Dialysis.

Two hours, two and a half and then three as I clicked off the mic for the final time with the knowledge that it was now 1:10pm and my birthday was passing with very little recognition.

Anticipation, blue green in color and looking like a jelly bean someone had smushed ever so slightly, squirmed it's way behind me as I made my way to what others affectionately call the Piss Factory.

Gum? Check.

Bottled water? Also a big checkeroo.

Headphones that I only use because I'm not rude to other patients like they are to me?

Depressing check yes.

Cell phone? Oh yeah, it's been here in my backpack with me all along.

I took off the battery and shook it near my ear to see if it was okay. When I realized there were no moving parts inside, I peered around to see if anyone had witnessed my idiocy.

Patients glaring at TV's or snoring incessantly and ignoring me?

Always a big, bloody check yes.

Since the Dialysis Tech's check my chart closely EVERY TIME (sarcasm intended) I thought at least one of them would acknowledge that today was the anniversary of the debut of my existence upon the world.

When nothing happened, Anticpation started whining under my chair like a poor, unloved puppy.

I shoved some Juicy Fruit into his gullet and he seemed to be happy, but it wouldn't last.

Dialysis was amazingly uneventful, much like the previous hours of the day, which was fine by me.

But still no phone call.

During the entire treatment, I began to question my value as first born son, an older brother and a best friend. How had I failed them all? How had they missed the one day of the year when a simple two word greeting can give me the energy to make it through the hell that is my life?

Minutes before my treatment was over, I let the valuable information slip, if only to get some attention from the dough eyed tech who had hooked me up.

She's strikingly beautiful with bright, joyful brown eyes, striking rave hair, sparkling smile, sweet innocent voice and a wedding ring that blinds when held at just the right angle.

But at least it made Anticipation calm down and relax for a few minutes while my needles were removed.

I sludged myself home and found a kind, quickly written "Happy Birthday" note scrawled on a piece of standard copy paper from my roommate.

Anticipation grabbed it and held it up like a protest sign.

And then He started to move in a fashion I can only describe as a cross between a jig and a full blown seizure.

But once again, at least Anticipation was happy.

I put my vast culinary skills to grand use and plugged in the hot air popper. Fresh popcorn dripping with melted butter and popcorn salt always notches up the serotonin.

I fired up the copy of "X-Men 2" I had rented from Netflix and set in to count down the final hours of my birthday.

Thank goodness I had a movie to distract me from the disappointing day.

As the final minutes mercifully ticked down, Anticipation looked haggard and weak. His eyes were heavy and he was struggling to remain concious.

The digital clock blared silently the fact that midnight had arrived and with it the demise of my Anticipation.

And only one thought entered my mind at that exact instant:

I'm older than I look and younger than I feel.