I’m writing this in my head
somewhere between Belleville and Oshawa
as Leonard Cohen croons to me
on the stereo about missing something.
I’m trying to put this
together in verse;
it’s the only way that makes sense.
Maybe because the songs he sings are too good,
or I’m still affected by the last time I had
strep throat and we read
Susan Musgrave poems in bed.
So much for swearing
that I’ll never write like this again.
I wonder why she ends her phrases
the way she does,
about whether her titles come from
those clever little moments,
Maybe I can figure out how they do it
and I can express what it felt like to hug
her before leaving,
about how I didn’t realize how hard I was
doing it until I let go and felt her
She wouldn’t admit that she’d miss me
until I did it first. She had
said it more than me, last time, you see.
She had paid it forward,
now it was time for me to pay it back.
It’s times like this I wish I had someone to take care of me, because I’m tired of taking care of myself.
My friends know I don’t celebrate my birthday, because I don’t believe in rituals. I went through most of Thursday without anyone mentioning anything, aside from Louise calling me from the road, reminding me that we were going out for lunch the next day — which the three of us do on our birthdays at work.
So when I got home around 9:30 that night — tired and hungry after Tai Chi — I was surprised to find a letter taped to my front door. This letter lead to my birthday game:
Then, before I went to bed, I realized I had two phone messages:
Hearing Dan and his family singing was awesome, but hearing my dad’s voice was something else. He had never called to wish me happy birthday himself; it was a day only my mom would remember, and she would always pass the phone to him.
It seems like every year I expect nothing to happen, but I end up being surprised in one way or another.
Going home after a party in my Civic Coupe.
I love driving at night when the roads are calm, and the patterns of the street lamps pulsate in your vision.
I’ve been blessed with friends who paint, sculpt, carve, design, sing, and compose, and I’ve been fortunate enough to find a printer and framer who are artists themselves in what they do. Even though they have different mediums and ways of expressing themselves, they’re all driven by a sense of passion. Some can explain where it comes from, some can’t, but you can tell it’s rooted deep within their beings.
Passionate people have always attracted me. When you talk to them, you become filled with ebullient energy. You feed off each other, like a dialogue of ideas and inspiration.
It’s warming. It’s moving.
Together, you become something that’s greater than you are by yourself.