On The Occasion Of The Celebration Of The 27th Anniversary Of My Birth

It’s my birthday.  I’m sitting in a hotel room in Mendocino County, hungover.  It’s raining.

When the rains come to Northern California, they do not fuck around.  I woke up yesterday morning in a flood.  Everything was terrible.  I suggest you do not wake up in a flood.  It’s not hard to not do.  Just never go camping for several weeks on the cusp of the rainy season in Northern California.

Here’s how it happened:

I set up camp at the bottom of a flood plain.  I woke up thinking, “Dry, very good, very good,” only to touch the surface next to me and discover that although I was in fact dry, the rest of my tent was under water.  I unzipped the door:  vestibule flooded, clothing sitting in water, shoes floating.  Uh-oh.  I scrambled barefoot out of the tent, hauled my computer up the hill and out of the weather.  I ran back down hill.  In retrospect, this was pointless:  I could have walked.  Everything was already wet anyway.

I woke Johnny.  “Hey, Johnny.”  No reply.  “Hey, motherfucker!”  Johnny stirred.  “Can you help me move my tent?”  Johnny said yes.  We moved my tent to relatively high ground.  I got soaked.  I spent the rest of the morning standing in front of a propane heater, trying to dry denim and thinking about various ways to die.


It’s my 27th birthday.  Do you know what I do not want to be doing?  I do not want to be doing this.  I do not want to be charging my phone in a hotel on Highway 101.  I do not want to be twelve days without a shower.  I do not want to watch the sunset over the mountains anymore.  No.  I want to be stretched out on a beach with a bag of blowjobs and a gin and tonic.  I want to hear a beautiful woman tell me she loves me.  I want to watch my child come into the world.


There’s always next time.



7 responses to “On The Occasion Of The Celebration Of The 27th Anniversary Of My Birth

  1. Mary Ann Brandt

    27 is an important year, Tommy. Use it well; it has something to offer.

  2. Happy Birthday, honey. I love you. I miss you.

  3. at least you are walking tall enough to maintain the presence of “the sombrero that as long as I’m wearing the sombrero I get free drinks.” Perhaps this will compensate for the lack of beautiful women bearing your child? Enjoy the hat while you got it, Tom! Beautiful pregnant women generally get spooked by funny hats.

  4. Do you know where I was when I turned 27? I was somewhere in the middle of a week of being stuck in a fucking middle of nowhere Dayak village in the Borneo interior. No phone, no computer, no tv, the big book of hemingway I had with me I’d reread over three times already and I DON’T EVEN LIKE HEMINGWAY. When my internal monologue started speaking Indonesian I felt like I was going nuts. I lost track of days and only on my emergence did I realize that I had turned 27 several days prior. Believe that I could have gone for a G&T and a bag, no a crate, of blowjobs then, though being in a muslim country I wasn’t holding my breath.
    What I’m saying is, while it sucks to have your tent flooded thank your lucky stars that you don’t have to just wait. Just waiting with not a thing to do is the hardest things I’ve ever experienced. Occupying the time is the meaning of life, and watching the sunset over the coast range in mendecino county ain’t a bad way to do it.

  5. Happy birthday, Tom. The thing I’ve found that shitty days have going for them: When something does go right, I notice.

  6. Pingback: Street Encounters (another look) | One Way Trip

  7. I’m telling you, this is some On the Road style success just waiting to happen. Keep the notebook (both paper and CPU-based) high and dry.

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