Today I turned thirty-seven.
Twenty years ago, when I thought about what it would be like to be in my late thirties, this sounded like “Today I will turn DEAD.” Being here, actually at DEAD, feels less like dead and more like extremely tired. I didn’t think thirty-seven would involve this much yawning.
Turning thirty-seven also means that Zuzu will turn three in a couple of months. With every baby there has been a sense that I am completely subsumed, just sucked under by the urgent boredom that is this creature that needs extremely banal things but needs them NOW and also IN THREE MINUTES and also FIVE MINUTES AFTER THAT.
This particular baby, though, has been notable in how keenly I’ve felt the process of clawing myself back to myself. Even myself at DEAD. A couple of months ago when the time came for me to rent a movie I walked past BLAM BLAM KISSING and grabbed DIALOGUE AND SOME FRENCH and it felt like a personal victory. I read a book yesterday, not because I was editing it but because I wanted to. Four hundred pages in a row in a lovely bed-and-blanket haze, with Ginny tucked against one hip.
Turning thirty-seven means the twelfth year I’ve worked this job that was supposed to get me through the summer of one.
Turning thirty-seven means Lucy would be ten.
Turning thirty-seven means I’ve known Doug more years than I have not known him. Nineteen years, since the day I walked into a college theatre audition and couldn’t figure out who the skinny loud kid was.
I am blessed in more ways than I can count, and as much as I thought I’d mind being at DEAD I feel remarkably non-depressed and remarkably ornery and happy. Thirty-seven feels a little rebellious, like I might go buy something turquoise or eat fish prepared daringly.
And holy heck, am I glad to enjoy dialogue and a little French again.