Happy birthday, me.

At midnight it’s my birthday, but I don’t notice until Porcelain sneaks up and gives me a birthday spanking, and we all end up giggling on the couch in front of the fake fire. I’m twenty six now. As usual I remember the asshole judge who told me that kids like me died before we got to be sixteen and how sure and unwavering he was in that opinion. It was the basis for all his judgements about me (not that there were many) and his eyes were dead. Most years I consider writing him a letter: “Dear Asshole Judge, You are an asshole. That was really fucked up. Fuck you. PS. I’m still alive and I’ve accomplished XXX. So there. PPS. Fuck you.” This year I decide that that’s really an awful thing to be thinking of on my birthday, and I’d really prefer not to. There. It took me a decade or so, but I think I let go of a grudge.

After work I park at the grocery store, because it’s the only place I haven’t parked lately. I pull in near some other vehicle dwellers: three people and a golden retriever in an old Toyota with vis-queen and duct taped windows. They are always sleeping where I am, and I know exactly how they sleep, all piled up on each other. They are in purgatory and I’m blissfully just one step away from playing house under some sheets, so we’ve never found much to talk about. In the morning we talk; I tell them it’s my birthday, they tell me it’s cold, they are vietnam vets, and their phantom limbs are acting up. I give them my spare SmartMug and a couple jars of soup. Happy birthday!

At the bank the check I took from a customer last night clears. Happy birthday!

I eat some liver and start the long drive to the big scary city. It’s one of the most beautiful drives in the world, full of snowy mountains, blue skies, and waterfalls. I go to my friends house and we dress her roommate up as a princess. It is her roommates first halloween as a woman, and my friend is an expert make up artist and has even made jewelry to go with the costume.

Once the princess is dressed my friend resorts to giving her the same lessons in grace and femininity that she gave me back in the day when I was a baby stripper: stop looking down, you’re beautiful; hold your ribcage like this, yes, but drop the shoulders you look like you’re about to fly away.

“You guys are so sweet and apple pie,” I tell them.

“Us?” They stare at me, a forty something stripper and a princess with the shadow of a beard.

This is how beautiful people are, sometimes.


  1. a very happy birthday to you. a few nights ago somebody said to me in my dream: i see you are falling in love with yourself. as this meant that i am letting go of my own “asshole judges” i wish you the same. (sorry for the syntax, btw) incidentally, i thought we were the same age but it turns out you are a rooster and i am a monkey.

    Despite my ogling your naturally abundant and beautiful features, you are an inspiration!

  3. Happy Birthday! I’m getting together this evening with 2 of my best friends who are also Halloween babies. Glad you made it past 16!

  4. Happy Birthday, I can relate to that judge. I once had a colonel in the army tell me i would never amount to anything. I now have a Class A Cdl but i dont drive the big rigs. i just wanted to prove to myself i could do it. anyway You have accomplished alot. i just worry about health issues in that van and no home to go to.. Thats my only Concern.. I would at least by a small vacation home just in case.. Anyway October is my favorite Month Wish my birthday was in October mine is in August One of the hottest month So When it gets October i cool down………Anyway I really think your an inspiration i have thought about Alternative Mobile Homes Ever scince i couldnt find work and spent 2,000 dollars on Apt for 2 months and deposit… So Im all For Mobile Homes As a Stress Relief for the Housing Market and Rentals as Highway Robbery!!!

  5. Happy Birthday! Thanks so much for being you and for bringing us along on your adventures. I hope you make bank on your birthday if you’re dancing tonight, and the attention and care you bring to the details of your everyday life is a great gift to yourself as well.

  6. Happy birthday and happy halloween, may all your dreams come true. I hope that someday I may find as much happiness as you have when i’m 26.

  7. Congrats on lasting another wonder filled year! May you have many, many more in this incarnation!

  8. What a great birthday wish–falling in love with oneself. I hope yours comes true! Congrats on making it around the sun 26 times 😀

  9. Happy Belated Birthday Tara. Sorry for the belated wishes. My mind has been focuses on Samhain celebrations. Not exactly in the zone!

    Blessed Be and I hope that you enjoyed your birthday.

  10. That is some beautiful writing.

    You should get a book deal. Publish a true diary, a fictionalized diary, or, a novel.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *