no matter how much gunk i put under my eyes before i go to sleep, or how long i can hold a plank during burn & firm class, i keep getting older. my 29th birthday is creeping up on me, and as the final hurrah of my 20s, i think i should have a party.
i don't do birthday parties, and can only recall two from my past: my sixth at chuck e. cheese's (a magical place that i could not be dissuaded from calling "chunky cheeses" regardless of how many times i was corrected). at this party, i was serenaded by a sexy animatronic chicken, and later flung myself into a pit to be buried beneath so many bright and hollow balls. i ate my weight in birthday cake, and even at such a tender age, i knew instinctively that parties would not get any better than this.
the other party i recall was my 22nd, back in phoenix, which my friend danielle threw in my honor. it was her idea, and when she told me, my heart filled with helium and expanded, a red balloon in my chest, warmed because someone thought i deserved a party. i was so moved by her gesture that i neglected to say that i didn't so much want a party. she had a big house, and i worried that when people failed to show up, it would feel that much more empty. these fears were not unfounded.
things i remember from this party: a runny vegan cheesecake, made by amy, which we ate in the kitchen with our hands. people coming and going throughout the night, never staying long enough to fill the house. crying in the bathroom. four people in that enormous living room, dancing to xtc. kim, who would later die from a drug overdose in that very same house, shattering a window.
so that was my last birthday party, and since then, i have kept it simple. dinner and drinks with friends, no fuss, no gift required. a small exception could be my 27th birthday, which i celebrated at the magic castle with a few of my favorite people. there were card tricks and quick-change acts and a smoking clown inside a giant balloon. there was also a bar. chunky cheeses for grown-ups.
but whatever, fuck it, this year i'm gonna have me a real party. and i think i've devised a foolproof plan, a birthday party with an insurance policy. i've invited my friends to crash someone else's party. the deets:
even if no one shows up for me, i will be surrounded by people dancing on roller skates - the best kind of people, my kind of people, all of us predestined to be fast friends.
so this is it. i am wrapping up my 20s, the end is in sight, but i am ok with that. when i look back on my early- and mid-20s, and recall how loath i was to part with each year, clinging to it, how i would examine my face in the mirror at night, scanning for a fresh line while cursing myself for raising my eyebrows so often, i see an unhappy person, someone who was desperate for more time to get things right. i am relieved to not be that girl anymore
here's another new thing i'm trying out: an amazon wishlist. of the highest priority: new knee pads as i am just barely keeping my current pair together with some strategically placed electrical tape. roller derby, hobo style.