Open Letter to Mo:
Tomorrow is your birthday. Now that I am old I tend to look back on the summer we met in the UK and think... what the fuck did you see in me?
Things now are not like anything I could have foreseen for us. For one thing, there is an "us". For another, I did not consider as likely the prospect of me typing birthday greetings to you anonymously on your interweb sprog. If I am correct, this will be the second time I have attempted to sharpen the odd metaphor in recognition of your birthday and ended up with a duck-billed platitude. But you don't love me for my wordiferocity, thank goodness.
In 1990 I did not imagine that the wild-haired girl who drank me under several tables would end up my wife, my partner, and mom to two children who each bear part of us in them. You know, our kids. I know I did not imagine it because I was too busy passing out under furniture. In addition, I was too busy dwelling on the fornication. Sex at last! I thought after having only a very long, dry, and manual stretch of time, spent in two separate yet equally female-free parochial schools, for exposure to girls and the disposition of a piece of sandpaper to boot. I was, and am, ever grateful for your kind consideration. And the sex.
It is no doubt trite to observe that in 1990 we were far different versions of ourselves. Our changes have taken place at every level of our beings from, like, a really really deep level to a level which is really really not very deep. In 1990 I was unemployed but fit and had a tangly mane of luxuriant hair. I was like a cross between Fabio and a toilet brush. Now I am engaged in remunerative work, doughy, and thinking about a combover. In 1990 you were 20. Now you are 30. In 1990 I think we were an attractive couple of humans. I now possess the animal magnetism of a nudebranch. You are still trés chaud.
In 1990 I drove a bright orange 1976 Camaro with Rubbermaid flowers painted over the rust blossoms and you drove a Nissan Micra which went up Cypress Mountain faster in "R" than "D". Now we have reliable import vehicles which are free of Grateful Dead stickers and roach collections in the ashtrays. My ashtray now contains the lighter attachment. I think I saw a chewed-on rice cracker in yours. I meant to get that.
In 1990 I was at war with the universe, with notions of family and civil society. I was a stupid young dog run ragged - giving chase to every shadow, every car, or maybe my tail. You were strong. You were patient. You loved. Now, sliding downhill into splodgy middle-agedness I am more like a farty old Labrador: still watching traffic and twitching my tail, but too comfortable by the fire to give chase. You have remained constant and that is but one of the reasons why I love you. (Or three, if I consider the sentences this last one mirrors... so, these are but four of the reasons...five! Five reasons!) Nonetheless, as I sit here next to you, seventeen years down the line, I ask: Honey, what were you thinking? You're downwind.
Happy birthday, my love, may we enjoy many more together.