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A Toast

September 17, 2009

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Why, yes, that is a bottle of cheap whiskey autographed by Nick Cave shortly before he laid a birthday kiss on me. And yes, Karm and I are drinking right outta the bottle in the ladies’ at a rather classy bar at the stroke of midnight to toast the arrival of my thirty-sixth year.

Last year, a friend took me to lunch on the 17th and insisted I make a list of the good things that had happened, which would serve as a mountain of evidence that birthdays aren’t so bad, getting older is totally fine, and that I had plenty to be grateful for, excited about, proud of, and so on. I did as he said, and that list made me smile. The year that followed was without question the toughest, roughest, meanest of my life so far, and I am not sorry to see its backside.

I have been inclined, the past three weeks, to compile a very different sort of list, one stacked with disappointments, unresolved struggles, losses and defeats, obstacles and blockades. Things that brought me down and broke my heart. But, last night the tightness in my chest slackened just a little, and today I feel close to lighter. Still heavy, but not so much like my weight measured under Jupiter’s gravity. More like if I were on Neptune heading for Saturn.

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