Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Imagined Birthday

Felicidades, Jenny, you would have been 40 today. I'm trying to conjure up what you might say or think about it. You'd wear a great shirt or some killer black boots, and your sparkly hair clips. You would meet Megan and I at Cafe Royal, which I don't think exists in the exact same form anymore. You would have a nonfat latte, no cinnamon, and a croissant. We'd try to get the couches.

Meg and I would force you to open your gifts and exclaim over each bit of wrapping paper, sticker-covered gift tag and contents within, most likely having to do with art, craft, kawaii, folklore or an inside joke. We'd talk about work, passerby, Max, our families, guys, movies, books, zines, politics and plans, always plans. It'd be the season of the fun list, after all, where we comprised goals for summer diversions, like having a gourmet picnic during Shakespeare in the Park, or stenciling up a neighborhood with a secret slogan.

Then we'd rush off to our various corners of the universe, but you'd have a day full of celebrations. People, maybe the Eating Club, taking you to lunch or dinner, preferably for something ethnic and spicy chased with some fried plantains. You might hit a movie or a cafe, or people might expect you to come to their houses and grace them with your presence. The party would go late, and then you'd come home and tell me the details and show me the goods.

If you were in Oaxaca with me, we'd have started the day with the kids tackling you in bed. You could have joined us in mango for breakfast and a mototaxi ride up the mountain to school, where each bump merits a laugh or speculation over whether we can make it. We could have walked home, commenting on the stellar banana plant in blossom or the vintage rusted Wonder Bread sign hanging by the Walkway of the Secretaries. We could hit Cafe Cafe for organic cappuccinos and pan dulce and then go to a museum. Or we could hike to the waterfall in San Felipe. For comida, I'd take you to La Biznaga for cocktails and salmon or shrimp in tamarind mole. Your gifts would be artesania from the villages or daily items from Abastos.

We would sing old pop songs and old-timey tunes loudly, off key.

Can I summon up this day for you, and you for this day? Because 40 is something special, I think. xoxo


Hilair said...

Happy Birthday, Jenny!

Clara Parkes said...

Happy birthday, my dear JJ Jammin' Jen. It's hard to think of you ever turning 40.