Thirty-four started off with a broken shower curtain rod.
Friday morning, I woke up and I was a new age. I was 34. I took a shower, my first shower at this new age. I knocked the shower rod off the wall stepping out of the shower. I was aware, as I am with just about everything in life, of the symbolism, of how this would read in a story, that there is some significance in this moment, perhaps a foreshadowing of what this new age might bring.
I tried putting the rod back up, but couldn't get it to stay put. I was working up a sweat, in our already hot bathroom on what was already at that early morning hour a really hot day. I pulled the tension rod further apart, too far. It wouldn't collapse. I kept pulling it, thinking a spring would activate, that the thing would collapse again. Instead I pulled the rod apart into two pieces. I was wrestling with it, trying to shove the one back into the other, working up a sweat, invoking the Gods, cursing this rod to the fires of Hell. It was one of those mornings. It was the start of being 34 years old.
After a crazy day at work, I stopped by Home Depot, bought a new rod and installed it when I got home, a nicer rod.
Things fall, things break. New things take their place, sometimes better things.
With the new rod installed, with a satisfactory ending written to this ominous story of the start of my year, I started getting wasted, partying. Friday night, I hung out at Nik's house with other friends. We went to Macri Park and then to Metropolitan. As the bar was about to close, I left, walked home. I bought some trail mix and talked to Lucky at the bodega.
Then I had a very romantic morning with myself. I got stoned to counteract other drugs that were keeping me awake. I started blasting Portishead's Dummy in the bathroom and took an hour long shower. At some point, I lay down on the floor of my tub as the shower of hot water fell upon me. Beth Gibbons voice took me to places. I was feeling everything in that moment, stoned and emotional and energetic and sad and happy and horny. I jerked off in the shower, enjoying the spray of water hitting me, curving my back upwards, letting the stream of hot water hit my asshole.
I slept most of Saturday and once I woke up, I started the partying all over again. I went to Nik's house where he threw a joint birthday party for his sister and me. I talked to friends. I blew out some candles. I lit some cigarettes. I left around five, after sitting in his living room on his couch, looking at Grindr while quietly listening to Carole King's Tapestry played on a record player. Walking home, I started chatting with a guy on Grindr. I walked to his house, instead of my own. We fucked in the middle room of his railroad apartment as the sun started to brighten up more and more of the airshaft outside his window. He came. I came. I left.
The sun was well up, the first bits of life starting to populate the street, people opening up bagel shops, coffee stores. Life goes on. The earth keeps circling around the sun. I keep getting older. The sun rises every morning. Things keep going. Metal storefront shutters keep getting rolled up each day. I am so happy to be here on this planet and to be alive. I don't know what that necessarily means, being alive, because to answer that I'd have to be able to also know then what not being alive meant. It sometimes scares me, not knowing what, if anything, follows this. I want to hug people tight in these moments, to feel connected. I go out at night and party and share in the company of other human beings, trying to make the most of this thing we share, this time here together on this spinning rock in space.