birthday/unbirthday

Ben's birthday begins in twenty minutes and I am, more or less, pretending it doesn't.

I don't know why. I'm feigning scheduling issues and work schedules and party conflicts and ...it's Wednesday. I'm figuring he doesn't know it's his birthday. My brother called and said When can you guys skype tomorrow? We need to sing Happy Birthday to Ben and when I told him we kind of weren't doing Ben's birthday tomorrow, he didn't know what to say. Which made me not know what to say. We'll make it up to him. A trunkful of fish pond prizes says so. But for tomorrow, I am pretending.

I say I don't know why.

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He wandered around all day today with his pants undone. I snapped them together ten times. They weren't tight. He'd retreat to a corner to unsnap so that he could walk around with his belly lolling out. It was one of those sights, vertigo-inducing. The crayola, the crumbs, the chub that clings to his fingers. It's altogether too much, when love is sparked from a place like May of 2007. Not rooted with obliviousness and assumptions, but with devastation and morphine.

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I wonder if I'll ever just see an undone button. For his sake, I hope so. For Liam's sake, I hope not. And the voice that used to speak to me would remind me to quit thinking I know so much about what's good for its sake, if it still spoke to me.

I'm confused.

In every possible way I am hiding from the significance of three. I scroll down and down and down the archives of all this writing, at all the months between now and then, and it makes me gasp. I look out the window at blackness and all I see are stars. They don't talk back.

I wrote this through midnight this morning. Liam's maple bloomed overnight. My friend Leah had made Ben a birthday garland, and I hung it today so that I would see it.