Dear Adam Powers,
Tomorrow I turn “almost 30.” I have stopped saying my age out loud, not because I am embarrassed of it, but just because it doesn’t really seem to matter anymore.
I keep getting this question, some variation of, “What are you doing on your birthday?” How do you answer that? It was my understanding that you don’t “do” anything for your “own” birthday, and, aside from that, “people” don’t “do” anything for you after you turn 21 or so.
I made it explicitly clear to several people that I wanted to have a party at Chuck-E-Cheese or however you spell it, but only if the animatronic Rock-A-Fire Explosion band would perform classics from my childhood such as “Roast Beef Sandwich,” “The Chuck-E-Cheese Beatles Medley,” and “Mr. Bassman.” But I heard all they play now is Christina Aguilera covers and they go by the name “Munch’s Make-Believe Band.” The Rock-A-Fire Explosion was a (now-defunct) Showbiz Pizza band, but since my memory has fused SBP with Chuck-E-Cheese because it makes sense that The Rock-A-Fire Explosion would be in high demand and so be hired in other pizza parlors from my childhood, I’m gonna use the two restaurants interchangeably.
If I know only one thing, if I have gleaned only one piece of information from my almost-30 years on this planet, it is that the Chuck-E-Cheese band is decidedly not make-believe. I have always been well aware that they were wobots, but as a child I assumed that they possessed free will and independent thought and I am not prepared to change my mind.
Alas, no one arranged a birthday party for me. And I KNOW it’s not because I’m too old. When my dad turned 30, we had his birthday party there. And yes, I know he had three kids at the time, and once you reproduce you cease doing things for yourself. You forgo the parties at bars and instead start celebrating your birthdays at rat-mastcotted entertainment bonanzas. You trade in the beer pong for the Whack-A-Mole. So when we showed up for his special day, displayed there up on the marquee birthday board was:
Julie is 3!!!
Christopher is 6!!!
Jimmie is. . .30!!!
AND I WANTED THAT THIS YEAR. But it’s fine. I’ll be at Carrburritos for my birthday this year, serving burritos to people who somehow don’t understand what I mean when I say, “What salsa would you like?” I’ll ask them what they want to drink and they’ll say, “Oh nothing. Just water,” and I’ll pour their water and I’ll want to say “WATER IS A FUCKING DRINK.” But I won’t. Because that would be rude.
I wish I was spending my birthday in France.
I did get a very nice present, though, from Lackey. He gave me a down comforter and I named it Clarence and now I won’t leave my bed whenever I am home. Clarence made me late for work last week. He is seafoam green and he loves me back.
Sorry this letter is so short. I just got off work and now I have to go to my other work. And tomorrow morning I go my other OTHER work, and then it starts all over again.
So if you’re in Carrboro tomorrow night, stop by and get a burrito and tell me Happy Birthday. Or, I guess, don’t. Because who cares, anyway? I’m not 21 anymore. I’m almost 30.