On this day, back in the final year of the Twentieth Century, I turned twenty-two. I was in Manhattan, cowering in a dingy hostel and all alone in a city of eight million people. No small fraction of whom were actually crazy.
I was on my way, by a kind of circuitous route, from Australia to Finland – where, it turns out, I was to spend the next twenty-two years of my life. Give or take the occasional vacation, and an unfortunate deportation incident with the immigration authorities.
Still, can’t complain.
Today, I turned forty-four and have officially spent half my life in either hemisphere. I’m in Sotunki, tucked away in a cluttered home office and far from alone in a country of significantly fewer than eight million people. There’s some crazy.
It’s been a fun ride. I don’t foresee the next 22-year leg involving any immigration, or any change and upheaval at all if I have any say in it, but I’m looking forward to getting started.
I’m not often driven to introspection or reflection, but the question does come up sometimes. The big question. So big, there’s just no containing it within the puny boundaries of a single set of punctuationary bookends.
Who are these mysterious and unsung heroes of obscurity and shadow? What is their origin story? Do they have a prequel trilogy? What are their secret identities? What are their public identities, for that matter? What are their powers? Their abilities? Their haunted pasts and troubled futures? Their modus operandi? Where do they live anyway, and when? What do they do for a living? Do they really have these fantastical adventures, or is it a dazzlingly intellectual and overwrought metaphor? Or is it perhaps a smug and post-modern sort of metaphor? Is it a plain stupid metaphor, hedged around with thick wads of plausible deniability, a soap bubble of illusory plot dependent upon readers who don’t dare question it for fear of looking foolish? A flight of fancy, having dozed off in front of the television during an episode of something suitably spaceship-oriented? Do they have a quest, a handler, a mission statement, a department-level development objective in five stages?
I am Hatboy.
Happy Birthday, bro! May the seventeeth be with you!
It’s been a real one, and it’s not (as of 15:18 pm) over yet by any means.
Not to brag, but I am apparently a literal diamond. So I have that going for me.
(also there was a ghost there)
To me this means you have to “give up the ghost” and accept you are literally a diamond. Literally, meaning figuratively of course.
No no, you keep saying that but I refuse to accept the new definition, literally does not mean figuratively. I am literally diamond.
Also, you are literally being a stick in the mud on this.
Happy Birthday Hatboy!
Gettin’ old, chook!
You’re catching up!!
You are a couple of months older then me. I also will turn this age in 7 weeks or so 🙂
Happy birthday. I find it frightening to think there is going to be roughly another 40 years of this still to go.
Thanks! Yeah, my dad has been saying much the same for the past 25 to 30 years and he just hit 81 yesterday. Mind you, he’s also been packing suicide meds for the past 25-30 as well.
Aah Damon, your laconic wit crosses continents. Always appreciated.
So, when I was in high school I took an English class at our local university (I had already completed all the courses required by my high school). On my final term paper my professor wrote that I had a laconic writing style. I took it as a compliment not realizing that scholarly writing isn’t meant to be conversational. It turned out the professor had meant it as a compliment, but was pointing out the atypical/unusual style. Seeing as I never finished college and don’t write other than occasional comment sections I am glad to see it is still recognizable by those brighter than I.