Friday is my birthday, and another year has passed me by. I will have gone around the star we call the Sun for the forty-fourth time, and I find myself alone, living in a small apartment, wondering where things went wrong. Perhaps the reality is that everything went right, and this is where I’m supposed to end up.
It’s fun to speculate on the deep questions.
Now, I usually don’t do anything for my birthday. My friends don’t take me out for lunch, or for a drink at the local bar. On my fortieth, I decided to smoke a brisket at my parent’s house, but I did it for myself. No one did it for me. Since then, I’ve worked every year on my big day as it’s just another day.
This year, however, I had planned on going to see a band, In This Moment, in Lubbock for my birthday. It was just happenstance that they were going to be near enough to see, and fortunate that it was near my birthday, the following day, to be exact. Even my best friend was going to drive in from DFW to go with me, the first time she agreed to go to a concert.
But life has a funny way of erasing the best laid plans. I’ve thought it, more than once, that this whole situation with the Coronavirus must be my fault. I had the audacity to make plans, after all. It’s a ludicrous thought, though I doubt I’m the only one that has thought it. Believe it or not, the world does not revolve around me.
Instead, I’ll probably just go to work on my birthday, and then sit in my apartment, alone, on the day the concert was going to be. Maybe I’ll bake some more bread, which is something I’ve done the past two weekends. This week’s sourdough came out a lot better than last weeks. Maybe I’ll try my hand at brioche.
So far I’ve been fortunate. I haven’t contracted the virus, though working retail, that’s a risk I face daily, one that I’m aware of and am deeply concerned about. I am struggling with maintaining my new healthy lifestyle, but I’ve managed to keep my weight stable. The weekends have been my downfall.
I still have a job. One of my brothers wasn’t so fortunate. Another brother is concerned that he’ll be laid off as well. These times are times of trial and tribulations. We are being tested in ways we have not been tested in over a century. We’re better equipped to survive this than we were in 1918, but the cost is staggering.
As I sit here alone, in the silence of the night, thinking about the monumental changes this country, and this planet, has undergone, I can’t help but wonder what this next year of my life will bring. I mean, I’ll probably survive, but every year that passes brings me closer to facing my mortality. Will this be the year? Will Covid-19 be the vehicle that leads me to my demise?
I pray that it isn’t. I pray that no one else has to die in this horrible way. I pray that our scientists, doctors, and our nurses find a way to defeat this microscopic invader. I hope that we find a way to some normalcy once again. I would love to have a drink at a bar once again. I would love to go to a concert, and sooner would be great. I already have tickets to see Alanis in June, and Halsey the following day.
In the meantime, I’ll continue to perfect my baking skills. I’ll try to write on a more frequent basis. Also, I’ll be enjoying the new Epiphone Les Paul I bought myself as an early present. I’ve been playing guitar for thirty-three years now, but electric guitar has proven to be a bit of a challenge. With nowhere to do, I guess all I have is time to practice. We’ll see were I’m at a year from now.