Today is my birthday. Thank you, thank you. I feel every bit of 31.
Yesterday I actually searched the closets for my great grandfather's cane. No kidding. I need it because I hurt myself trying to stretch. Something's not right in my left leg, high up, a little left of my groin. Chances are I pulled a muscle, but it's been years since I pulled a muscle stretching and I don't remember it feeling this bad. I'm hobbling around like a crotchety old geezer and I could use a cane. This is what 31 is like, kiddos.
Other than the constant muscle, joint, and tendon pain, the reduced recovery time, the decrease in athletic performance despite an increase in effort, the weight gain, the slowing metabolism, and the wiry silver hairs that sprout from my head twice as fast as their soft, brown neighbors, 31 is turning out to be okay so far. I got up early and went to the rec center to swim laps and sit in the hot tub, which was awesome -- a little preview of what being retired in Florida must be like. Then there was this birthday brunch bash held by Stephanie. Terrific food with outstanding people in her warm home. That's her on the left, Neesh middle, Alexis right. Not pictured: Anthony Connolly, Brandon and Niya Bond, and me. We love these people. They make hours feel like moments. They make our English department feel like home.
Later, while Neesha made a final exam for her kiddies, I had a glass of bubbly and took a nice long nap this afternoon, savoring the fact that I didn't even have to remove a set of dentures first.
Then there's this:
(Brief Neesha comment here: in my defense, there was music playing in the background and I didn't realize he was filming. I thought he was still trying to figure out what setting he wanted the camera on!)
I know. Hilarious!
Neesha took me out to dinner at Jina Yoo's Asian Bistro. That was seriously amazing. Great sushi. Neesha said it best: The flavors explode in the mouth.
At Jina Yoo's, Neesh ordered me a shot that was on fire! That's how one's supposed to drink it, too. I got about half of it down before the straw melted.
Like that fetching sweater? Birthday present from Neesha. And that handsome button down under it? Birthday present from Neesha. And the very rock star pair of black Sketchers (not pictured)? You bet your sweet butt. Neesha hooked me up this birthday.
On a birthday when he was a tad younger than I, the famous explorer Captain Meriwether Lewis (of Lewis & Clarke) journaled that his life was pretty much halfway over and he hadn't done enough to advance humankind or his nation. He therefore pledged, on his birthday (I think it was his 30th), to stop screwing around and get on with doing something important. And not long after that he was appointed, through a byzantine, old-old boys' club channel, to co-head the Corps of Discovery and find a water route across the U.S. to the Pacific Ocean.
I, Dustin Michael, hereby make no such pledge, and I'll tell you why. First off, considering that 10 years ago, when I turned 21, I awoke the following morning to discover I'd passed out early and been dressed up in my pal Rob's sister's prom dress, fitted with a pair of Groucho Marx glasses, and posed and photographed with the various people who had attended my birthday party, I'd say I've come quite a way in a mere decade.
Also, the illustrious Capt. Lewis, unable to keep a relationship going or outshine his glory days as a trailblazing icon of the American frontier, took his own life in some dark Kentucky backwater just a few years after he decided on paper to do something awesome with his life.
So look for more of the same from yours truly -- slow, steady professional advancement coupled with nonstop romance-department fireworks.
And look for me to complain about a headache if I do a blog tomorrow. Still, waking up with a headache is better than waking up in drag. For real.
I seriously love you guys.
Neesha, I love you.