As birthdays go, this one wasn’t too terrible. For decades, my birthday was never celbrated. I didn’t have any friends to celebrate and the most I had was my mom calling me at 8:19 a.m., East Coast time to sing “Happy Birthday” to me. Today, was a good one.
My friend, Gert, wished me an early happy birthday from Greece on July 2. My friend, Carol, wished me a happy early birthday last night.
My mom called me, albeit late, this morning and sang to me as she does every year. She had run to the store to get some beans for a thing she is taking to a barbecue today. I gave her a bunch of shit about how her beans and barbecue were more important than me, to which I was told to “shut the hell up, Brat.” We chatted for a while and she caught me up on the family gossip.
My friend, Mary Ellen, texted me to tell me to have a good one and then Sandra arrived with a Red Velvet cake. I was going to take the first piece, but it fell upside down on the plate, so Sandra got it. For the past four years, Sandra has given me a cake, although it has never been a yellow cake.
“Yellow, lemon. It’s all the same,” Sandra said.
“No, it isn’t,” I said.
“It is,” she said.
“I’ll make you both and you can taste the difference,” I said.
“Well, I like lemon,” she said.
“I know,” she said.
“Maybe I’ll make a lemon one next time,” she said.
“And I would eat it all in front of you and tell you how good it was while you get nothing,” I said.
“Well, I might as well have made you a cake myself after the shit at Main Street Market,” she said.
Sandra had gone to the grocery store and wanted to get them to write “Happy Birthday” on it, but they said they couldn’t do it. The employee said Sandra would have to take the cake to the Gering Bakery and see if someone there could do it, except they weren’t open.
“So, enjoy your naked cake,” she said. I did.
We lamented about how there was only one bakery in town because neither of us is going to Walmart for shit. We’ve both had enough bad experiences with the place that neither of us will ever set foot in the bakery.
She said she hoped I liked Red Velvet. Yeah, it’s cake. I’ll eat it even if it’s not yellow cake, Sandra.
Sandra threatened to make me a cake next year because it would be easier than the hassle of getting things done in rural Nebraska. She also promised to use an old sock to hold the icing while she scratches my name out on the cake.
We talked for a while and I mentioned my friend, Candice, was taking me to lunch.
“Where?” Sandra asked.
“I don’t know yet,” I said. “I’m supposed to pick.”
“I don’t know. I haven’t decided yet what I want,” I said.
“Why don’t you go eat at Perkins,” she said.
“I don’t really like what they have to offer for food,” I said.
“That’s because you’re always eating greens and healthy shit,” she said.
“Well, I just ate cake and it’s not even 10 a.m., yet,” I said.
“That’s your birthday cake,” she said.
“Yeah, but I shouldn’t eat too much stuff that’s bad for me in one day,” I said.
“Oh my gawd,” she said. “Just shut up and eat your fucking birthday cake, you ungrateful wretch.” We cracked up laughing. Sandra had another slice of cake. After a while, Sandra bid me adieu so I could get ready for my lunch/birthday date.
While waiting for Candice to pick me up, I got a text from my friend, Katelyn, wishing me a happy birthday. My friend, Marina, texted me, too. Folks on Facebook wished me a good one throughout the course of the day.
I ended up at San Pedro’s for lunch with Candice. Paul tagged along, too. I had two bean burritos and some awesome conversation.
Overall, it was a good day. As I sit back and relax, the rain is coming down outside, and I am reminded of two quotes from the movie.
Everybody is special. Everybody. Everybody is a hero, a lover, a fool, a villain. Everybody. Everybody has their story to tell.
I hope that the world turns and that things get better. But what I hope most of all is that you understand what I mean when I tell you that even though I do not know you, and even though I may never meet you, laugh with you, cry with you, or kiss you. I love you. With all my heart, I love you.
Thank you for always letting me tell my stories. The world has turned for me and continues to do so, and I didn’t have to spend it alone.