Thursday, March 18, 2004

Birthday

One more birthday of mine has come and passed, and now I am 26 years old, drawn presently by propinquity towards the momentous age of 30, as if I were a ball rolling up and over a hill, with 25 as its peak. In a month and a half I will be the exact age that my father was when I was born. But though turning 26 seems significant if I consciously consider it, I don't actually feel any different than I did last March, and encouragingly, the year passed no quicker to my perception than did the one before it---so the lament of the old that "the years rush by faster and faster" isn't yet chanting for my own life.

In a book today I read a fragmant of Tennyson's "Tithonus", in which a man who does not die, but yet grows older each year, grieves of his fate:


The woods decay, the woods decay and fall,
The vapours weep their burthen to the ground,
Man comes and tills the field and lies beneath,
And after many a summer dies the swan.
Me only cruel immortality
Consumes: I wither slowly in thine arms,
Here at the quiet limit of the world,
a white-haired shadow roaming like a dream
The ever-silent spaces of the East,
Far-folded mists, and gleaming halls of morn.

* * *


One driving incident that continually gives me chortles when I think about it, was the time that some guy through a clod of dirt at my car. Unlike New Yorkers, Bostonites (particularly Cambridgians) seem to feel that pedestrians own the road, and that if some pedestrian a mile down the sidewalk is even thinking about crossing the street, all drivers should stop and wait while he strolls peacefully across the lane. Anyway, I'm rolling down Windsor St. towards Mass Ave, and some trendy, scrawny twenty-something art-head, with black-rimmed glasses, disheveled hair, tight red and white T-shirt, and Converse high tops below pants that are too short for him; this guy is walking down the sidewalk pondering his navel, and I just fly right past him and hook a right on Mass Ave. He apparently took such umbrage at having a car come within ten feet of his shoes, his dander was so raised, that he picked up a ball of dirt from the street and flung it at my passing trunk. To his credit, he did make contact. Maybe now, with so many people playing Grand Theft Auto III, he would think twice before entering the Man vs. Car Challenge.

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