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2002-11-03 | 1:59 p.m.

Netanyahu and Sharon. Let the good times roll, baby.

I started to say "Jesus fuck" but I realized that somebody reading this might be offended by it. But I really do say Jesus fuck, not all the time but often enough to have it hanging in my repertoirial closet, and so to not say it is to mislead you into thinking I am less vulgar than I really am.

Always the grappling with whether this effort is public or private.

And now it is my birthday.

This morning, Duff was reading the paper and said, "Damn it! New York got the Olympics instead of San Francisco! Fucking sympathy vote, man!"

I guess he had his hopes up. Trying to ameliorate his psychic pain, I said, "Maybe S.F. can get it next time." Then, "But I guess they don't give it to two U.S. cities in a row."

"Every twelve years it's somewhere in the U.S.," he said.

"Maybe by then, we'll have saved up enough money to actually go."

Duff said, "Maybe by then, our girls will be in the Olympics." But I didn't hear him because I had been horror-struck by own next thought.

"In twelve years, I'll be fifty!" I wailed.

"Yeah but maybe by then, OUR GIRLS will be in the Olympics!"

"In twelve years, I'll be FIFTY!" I shrieked. I buried my face in my hands and rocked back and forth.

"I'm not ready to be fifty yet!"

"You're not fifty yet."

"Fifty is OLD!"

"You're not fifty."

"Yeah, but almost!! Only twelve years."

I know it sounds like I was joking around, and I was, but the truth is, I really was shocked. I can't even explain how much of a jolt it was. I'm not even used to the idea of turning forty, and here comes fifty, bearing down hard. Me. Fifty. I can hardly wrap my mind around it. It's like getting a telegram that says, Happy Birthday! You're dying!

Well, I fucked up, I guess. I wrote this instead of looking for Criminy's missing socks and sneakers while everyone else was out shopping for a birthday present for me. Duff just yelled at me because I didn't have an alternative to the soccer socks she was already wearing. "You can't wear those blue socks on the tennis court!" "Well, why not?" I yelled back. I didn't know there were such strict sock rules, for crying out loud. I thought things had loosened up a little, you know, since the rise of Agassi and the Williams sisters. The girls are only taking a lesson, for crying out loud. It's not as if they're competing in a tournament. If they start competing in tournaments, I'll try harder to get the socks right.

There really is a correlation, you see, between me writing and the animosity level in our house. So much so that when I write, or even think about writing, I feel like I have to sneak around. Duff is really supportive of me writing, "as long as you have finished all your work around the house" and as long as he isn't physically present. Which tends to narrow things down.

P.S.: Happy Birthday, Mike! I love you bunches. I never remember your birthday until it's mine. (I know, I suck.) But at least you'll always be younger than me. When are you coming to see me again? I have a secondhand shirt for you. Great paper-thin blue cotton buttondown, perfect for painting in. I should call you later. I'm in a bad mood right now. Think I'll go dig up some leftover Halloween candy.

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