The Birthday

This year, most of my birthday wishes came from the people, near and far, who asked/remembered when it was.  That was quietly pleasant.  I also had three celebrations, each in a party of two people, including myself.  Two people is one of my favorite party sizes right now, three is the other one!

Sixteen years ago, in Prague, Katerina gave me a green mug with a smiley face on it, for my 21st birthday.  The mug travelled through Slovakia, Ukraine, and Belarus, back to St. Petersburg.  The following year it moved to the US with me, stopping over in London for a day, the day after a full solar eclipse.  It accompanied me to 10 or 11 home addresses on the East and West Coasts of the United States, and fewer offices, surviving every move unscathed, holding the first cup of coffee on most mornings at home.  That was until a couple of months ago, when, one morning, I chipped it against the granite kitchen counter during the usual drop-and-catch maneuver; the catch imprecise.  This Sunday, in San Francisco, Vita gave me an orange and green smiley face coffee cup with a saucer, for my 37th birthday.

Last week, on two separate occasions, two men with whom I resonate and whom I respect tremendously for accomplishment, spirit, and light-hearted wisdom, let it slip that they were just a few months older than I.  Until they did, I assumed them ageless, but now that they were not – boy, we age well, I thought.

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