I celebrated my 25th birthday on September 7 2007. Most birthdays up until now I've focused on being with friends and enjoying a good party, but for whatever circumstances this year was different. I've been extremely busy with grad school and other commitments - so the day seemed to creep up on me unexpectedly. Emma met me downtown and gave me a new house plant (just what I wanted!) and a homemade card telling me she got me a subscription to the New Yorker too (also, just what I wanted!). But that was the peak of the b-day celebration and I was totally fine with that. People often talk about loosing interest in their birthdays, or try to avoid celebrating them - I don't think either of these things are true for me. This year was much more contemplative and about remembering. I mean, it has been a quarter century.
Earlier this year my dad celebrated his 50th birthday (half-century), which means he was my age when I was born. I'm looking forward to having little children, but I'm sure now is not the time - I can't even imagine being a father right now. I wonder if my dad felt the same way. While digging through my closet, I came across half of a book of photos that I managed to salvage from my parents basement before I moved out of the house. It's funny seeing my dad like this - I think the 25-year-old version of him and I have similar styles. If only Emma wouldn't give me shit for growing a mustache.
While laying in bed that night, I was laying in bed thinking about the library I created in my parents basement [which I talked about in my submission to the PHONEBOOK that came out earlier that day] and tried really hard to remember exactly what that basement looked like - in hopes that it would jog my memory. I wanted to remember the ways in which I attempted to categorize things at such a young age, but that didn't happen. Instead I started to remember other rooms in other houses growing up, which turned into a game to put myself to sleep (like counting sheep). I began to reflect on different phases of my life based on the spaces that my life played out in. I remembered the living room of the house I lived in on Orville until I was 5 - I remembered coming home with my parents to see that our dog Sadie had destroyed the Christmas tree. I then recalled a scene that may be my earliest memory. While visualizing walking from the living room, through the dining room and into the kitchen I remembered the the faux red brick linoleum that covered the kitchen. Then all of a sudden, I remembered being in the kitchen sink facing my brother who was sitting in the opposite sink. Someone was giving us a bath.
For the last few days scenes of empty rooms keep popping up in my head, as I zone out and then begin to daydream - filling the room with really specific vivid memories. I'm into birthdays being like this from now on.
P.S. I can now legally rent a car.