Yesterday a young man came to our door and said, "Want some steaks?" I said, "Pardon me?" He said, "Got some steaks here. Want some?" It took me a second to process. Then I said, "Um, no, thanks, we've already got steaks." Which was true, we did have some steaks. He rolled his eyes and said, "Yeah, right, you've got some steaks." And then he turned sharply and walked away.
It wasn't a very good pitch. In fact, I'm not altogether sure he wasn't referring to 'stakes' as in 'a stake to kill a vampire with.'
Either way, he just wasn't a very good salesman.
I'm not a very good salesman, either, so I could identify.
I turn fifty today and all week I've been trying to figure out what I wanted to do to commemorate the day. At first, Angie and I were going to go over to this hoity-toity Italian place in Pasadena, get dressed up in our sunday-go-to-meetin' clothes and really do it up right. But I decided I didn't wanna do that.
Last night in a pre-birthday celebration we had dinner at a place called 'Islands,' which specialized in burgers. It was fun and I like the place. I'm a burger fan.
The whole thing was dampened a bit because I'd seen my doctor again yesterday morning. She's still trying to figure out my various health issues regarding the 'silent killer,' diabetes, which has been a pain in my ass for the past six or seven months or whatever. The latest complication has been a recurring bout of dizziness. It's playing hell on my work in the play because I'm constantly concerned about dropping over like a ten-pin at any given moment. Consequently, my performance has become a bit delicate which is not the way I like to do the role. This role requires a 'bull in a china shop' approach.
So we're still deciding things.
I was thinking back last night on all the birthdays that have come before. Forty nine of them, to be precise.
And I was a little surprised to realize that frankly I couldn't remember what I'd done on most of them. A few, I could. Some had been quite joyous, I think. Mostly I remember them through photographs; me holding a cake at a theatre in Iowa, me holding a cake at a theatre in Virginia, me holding a cake at a theatre in Florida. Clearly, I'd been on the road for a lot of birthdays.
No one of note was born on my birthday, really. Frederic Chopin and I share the day...but that's nothing to write home about. That's sort of depressing. Although I wish Fred the best, of course.
My dogs, Franny and Zooey, don't seem to know or care that it's my birthday, which is painful because we always do something special on their birthdays.
There are other birthdays, other people, I mean, that I've celebrated more than my own. I used to get blind drunk on Marlon Brando's birthday. My buddy, Jim, and I used to celebrate Laurence Olivier's birthday. And I used to hoist a few on Shakespeare's birthday with a buddy of mine in New York.
Turning fifty is weird for me on a whole bunch of levels. One is, I don't deserve to turn fifty. And I don't mean that in any maudlin sense. It's just true. I honestly don't deserve to be fifty. A lifetime of placing myself squaringly in harm's way justifies that feeling. I have heard the proverbial bullet whiz past my ear so often that sometimes I feel like a circus act.
But that was then and this is now.
I have some writing to do. Work on the new piece. And the dogs need walking. As do I. And I have to put some oil in the car. And we need some more gas or oil or keroseen or urine or whatever it is we put in our grill to make it light up. So I'll go buy some of that. I have to finish writing a business plan for our new venture. I need to purchase a new 'kit' that checks my 'numbers' for this 'silent killer' crap. I don't want any presents because I have everything I want or need. Although, I wouldn't mind a new Play Station game. But it's not pressing.
And upon reflection, I realized this morning that I really do have all the 'steaks' I need. We, Angie and I, have a whole house full of steaks. I have so many damned steaks I couldn't eat them all if I had steak everyday for the rest of my life. My life, day in and day out, is a life of steaks.
I just couldn't make that guy yesterday understand that while he was at the door. He didn't seem to believe me. "Yeah, right, you've got some steaks," he said. Well, I do. I wanted to say, "As God is my witness, buddy, this house is all about steaks. Every single moment is overflowing with steaks." And that's just not too shabby.
See you tomorrow.