Friday, October 27, 2017

Totally not about my birthday

Today is my birthday. But I say this not to make a fuss, or to elicit...

Oh. Well, thank you. That's very kind. No, you don't have to s...

Thank you. I didn't know there were so many extra verses in that song. Usually I just hear the one. Anyway, I was saying that...

Oh, I don't need anything, but it's so kind of you to ask.

No, really, I have everything...

I... Okay, fine. Dream gift? Uh. I'd like a Major Metropolitan Newspaper. I've always fancied one.

No, I didn't expect you to get me one. No, I understood that. No, just because you asked.

Er, maybe an electric bike? With snow tires on it?

This? What's this?

No, really, you didn't need to.

I really don't...

Okay. Thank you.

It's really nice. It's uh...

Oh. It's a rock?

Yes, I can see that by how, er, hard it is. Thank you?

Naw, I like it. I find the older I get the more I appreciate things that last.


  1. Last night I went to play poker thinking, wait, I want to write on Feldenstein's blog about his birthday and about him, specifically about the time we went backpacking in the Sierras with about 30 of our relatives, all of whom needed to be told a story before bed, and there was a two-day rain that pinned us inside our tents and left us rather soggy despite our attempts to dig tranches around them. So, Feldenstein's brother and Feldenstein and I made the best of it by drinking sips of whiskey and taking turns reading Arthur Rimbaud, a French humorist. I bet the bears could hear us laughing with such winners as, “I believe I am in Hell, therefore I am," and "Whatever it is that binds families and married couples together, that's not love. That's stupidity or selfishness or fear. Love doesn't exist." It was great! The kind of stuff you hear on Lake Wobegon! Fourteen hours later we emerged from our tents, soppy but happy.

    But I also thought about writing about when Feldenstein, in high school, in protest of something I can't quite remember, decided instead of going to class when the bell rang--WAIT! NO! I think I remember, tho memory, as noted a few blogs back, is fickle: Feldenstein had been suspended from school for what, I can't recall, but Feldenstein decided to go to school anyway and stand on a table in the open quad area and read Thoreau's Civil Disobedience out loud. I can't recall if the police came or perhaps even a SWAT team, but him on that table is etched in. In fact, in honor of him the school has erected a bronze statue on said table.

    We also went bowling a lot.

    And played tennis.

    And mini-golf.

    But those spellbinding sports stories will have to wait!

    So, HAPPY 23rd BIRTHDAY, Feldenstein. I love you.

    As Arthur Rimbaud writes,

    “A thousand Dreams within me softly burn:
    From time to time my heart is like some oak
    Whose blood runs golden where a branch is torn.”


    1. Thank you for your allusive stories, wildly uneven in their accuracy, but nevertheless a pleasure.

      The Rimbaud reading in curiously true, in a tent with peanut butter and whiskey.

      But as to 23, well, 53 is better than 23 by 30.

  2. Your 23rd birthday AGAIN? I really hope this is true, especially the high school part. Just in case any of it is true, Happy Birthday. It puts a smile on my face to see you at the customer service desk, even if we don't get to speak.

    1. Yes, Ellen! It is a strange and unusual phenomenon about Feldenstein and his birthday, but it is what it is, one of those difficult facts that we must simply accept or else wander into a lifetime of possible insanity. I have heard stories of people as far away at Morocco leaving their homes for no reason, asking, "Why? Why? How can it be? 23 again?" -- their families left behind fielding interviews from local TV stations. But together, you and I, will bear the burden with faith and, as you say, a smile.

    2. The High School part is sort of true. I was kicked out of school for not wanting to go. So I came back. I was keen on those Transcendentalists. Police escorted me away.


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