Another year was added to a growing number of years of a not-so-constant trend in living a life that seemed to be so intricately intertwined now. I was born on Valentine’s Day, 1982, so my mother says and my birth certificate indicates. Foggy memories of an estranged mother always speak about a crammed room full of unmarried women in their late 20s giggling, a traditional birth attendant preparing birthing paraphernalia, boiling water in a kettle shooting hot vapor. The cynic in me always thinks about loose perspectives brought about by excessive infatuation with the idea of a child’s birthday falling on February 14th, of the idea that it is too emblematic of a lover’s fruit so executed in complicity, of the idea that so a relationship may be glorified in the height of its heydays. Maybe it was on the 13th or the 15th or on the 29th and because of the fears of a drought in leap years.
But it is, 14th etched indelibly in the registers consistently. All those years when I get to be socially active and was entering the realm of social environments did I come to realize that there are some consistencies, commonalities within the celebration of a birthday so engrossing for people except me. Why aren’t you named Valentino? was a question never to be not asked because it’s a protocol and You must be kulang-kulang because you were born in February was a supposition I can quite vouch? For 27 years I have been rammed up with those conjectures that sometimes distress me for their built-up ordinariness and sometimes elate me because I am a figure or a ¬go-figure elated to have more and more people remember my birthday and be a recipient of all their bright and common wishes of a longer life, many-more-birthdays-come, and wishes of well-wishers of a sumptuous treat at a fancy restaurant (just-kidding).
Yesterday I had a steamed white chicken for breakfast at a Chinese Restaurant, a call from my mom all the way from Oregon, a morning song from my love streamed all the way through my ear canal like a cleaning cotton bud tickling the softest part of me, a dinner treat from my boss at a Korean Restaurant with her lovely daughter seated in front of me were the best gifts I ever had. There are wishes, yes, like enrolling in the Environmental Law Program of the Lewis and Clark Law School, a better economy at the close of the year, bright prospects for this year, my name included in the Rolls, a cure for my sickness, a life with my love still intertwined strongly beyond a boa-constrictor’s capability, purging in the government, more rights for the underprivileged like me, alleviation of poverty, more sincere and true leaders for this country and more aftertastes of coffee from my love.
27 and I am old. Woke up early this morning quite a bit terrified by the documentary on the ice meltdown, the rising sea levels and the cataclysmic consequences. There’s not enough action to stop it, taking out of the picture the role of governments, the fact is that there is really no stopping now the phenomenon because all the efforts to cut carbon emissions today if and when the IPCC’s instruction will be followed without skirmishing sovereign egos, will really never halt anything except only to mitigate the catastrophe. The documentary has a footnote on climate change refugees, its rise and its probable impact on matters of survival, dwindling resources, and state-to-state conflict. There’s a lot ahead really. I may never cross through such events within my time but it keeps me wondering about the future of the world and generations. Sometimes this news really makes you old but the inescapable fact is that you’re part of it.
So here’s my definition of being 27 in this century. It is about thinking, trying to belong to a world of causes making even the slightest of difference, making one’s voice heard, trying to blend love with every issue that comes, trying to live life to the fullest while you can, achieving for others, and just being me, being you.