I had another birthday this weekend. Another big, round birthday. I won't say how old, but at this stage there is no way to deny that I am closer to my grave than my birth. I somehow managed to avoid the usual self loathing that comes with this time of year, but it is never far away. So many years, so little to show, or so the black dog keeps telling me. He and I have been acquaintances for a long time, but never friends. he is no man's friend.
It was my first birthday without my mother. I could always count on a phone call from her, and she would treat me to the worst rendition of Happy Birthday ever sung, and she would do it in two languages. On the weekend closest to my birthday, I would go and see her. She was, I am sorry to say, not a good cook. Her birthday cakes for me would somehow fall apart half the time- a pile of crumbs held together by some icing. What I wouldn't have given to hear her bad singing or to have tasted one of those lousy cakes again.
Damned onion cutting ninjas.