Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Lifetime of Birthdays

Good morning.

Posted simomanesouly in Blogger and MyDisgrace. LOL Tom(CA). Yes, Bret, it is a torture chamber.

As I look back over the years of posting entries in my blog on this date, I can't help but think of all the people I've known -- summer-types, who vacation with their families during this week every summer. I have many wonderful memories of some wonderful people. I've known kids who are now adults, and with whom I still stay in touch.

Michael and his mom are here. I'm in my old bed, which feels not only strange, but quite small. Devin is in his old bed. I had forgotten the sounds of the night. I had forgotten the involuntary farting, snorting, talking and other sounds that indicate that my brother thinks I'm asleep. Some things never change. Michael has taken the sleeper, and he sleeps so soundly, I wouldn't even know he's here. I'm happy to say that I'm back in that old familiar mode of enjoying my summers at my childhood home at the Jersey shore, and being on what is once again "My Piece of the Beach".

Since I've been here I've seen Scott, who always asks if I still have his hand-made surfboard key holder. I have it, and it's right by the door into the garage at home. I find myself seeing so many familiar faces, but the names are now escaping me. I get waves and smiles, but we've all grown up. I got stopped by a woman who apparently knows me, but I didn't remember her name. I told her what I'm doing and where I'm living, and she said she'd tell the "kids" that she saw me. I was too embarrassed to ask her name.

When Michael got here I told him I messed something up when "we" set up his blog account. As I recall, I said, "I don't know. I fucked something up. Now I can't comment on your blog."

He nearly choked on his soda, spitting part of it into my face. Yep, same ol' Mikey!

I should make note of the fact that Michael (who I still call "Mikey), is nearly finished with his Master's, and is going to be instrumental in not only teaching, but counseling recovering teens. Way to go! He's come so far. He's hardly the little Mikey we used to run around chasing as a little kid. Oh BS. Yes he is!

So today I'm 29. One year from today I'll be 30. Where has the time gone? Life changes people. I've changed. I'm in an environment where I have to act and think a certain way. I find that I have to decompress or rehabilitate when I'm here. It doesn't take long. But if I can look back at some of my blog entries from this date in prior years, my priorities have certainly changed.

On my 18th birthday it was all about surfing and summer friends. I've taken out my board twice since I've been here. I can still surf, but the faces are all new. The hot dogs are still hot dogging, running over each other, and trying to show off for the scantily clad girl on the beach. And as I once said, I come along with my 10' 8" longboard, barreling my way toward the beach like a Lincoln Fornicator, turning heads. One kid told me to get out. I laughed at him. The perfect response is always "I live here!"

Yeah, the Jersey attitude has become more obvious with every return visit home. Everybody claims their own piece of the beach, and there's always an imaginary boundary around towels, chairs and even people in the water. I've seen it for too many years. It's no different in the summer rentals. The people come down with the "It's not my house, so fuck it"" attitude. I watched as one guy kept jabbing a knife in the wooden porch support beam, and then began to whittle away at the wood. I've seen kids walk inside with wet, sandy bathing suits and beach toys, leaving the gritty, moldy residue for the next poor suckers who'll be paying $2000 for one precious week at the Jersey shore. They blow up the gas grills, cremate their dinners, break windows, toss garbage, urinate on the floors, smear filth on the walls, and they walk away as if it never happened. And people wonder why our house is always so clean. Well, duh! It's called RULES! I know I've mentioned an old photo of a bunch of kids sitting around our table with a huge container of peanut butter and equally huge bottle of jelly. We drank sugary fruit drinks and ate PBJ sandwiches. If we were good, we had potato chips -- and sometimes an ice cream sandwich. But each kid was sitting on a towel, and each kid went under the shower to get rid of the sand and the salt. RULES!

We no longer have that same dining set, although it did go to a needy family somewhere locally. We have a great deck, where we can sit, drink beer, eat, smoke, and fart and scratch freely. And yes, the shower is still outside. I can still see my youngest cousins (Ian and Phil) peeking their heads out the door, and then running naked into the house. And if there were any women around, they did the classic modesty hand cover-up. OK. You got the "N" word. But that's how it is at the shore.

So why am I so nostalgic today? I guess I can think of what I was doing on my birthday pretty much any given year, although the exact years are now starting to run together. My 18th birthday was really my only surprise, when Jimmy came to be part of our Final Countdown party. I got surprised, but in looking back, the anticipation would have been just as much fun as being surprised. My 18th birthday was probably one I remember the most. I had graduated high school and I was looking forward to college years. I was 18; I was an adult (or so I thought at the time).

I know it was always around my birthday when Michael and Sandy came for their bi-annual visit. Now it's every year, and we're happy about that. Mom has been out there, too. I know, I know. I have to go out there. It's always a good time when they're here, and this year will be no exception.

So today has been a nice day. It's good to be back, and it always goes by so fast. Disney World is on the horizon, but for now, I'm enjoying being King Shit.

I hope your day was a good one even if it's not one you'll remember 10 years from now.

Have a great evening.

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