Portrait of a (grumpy) man on his 33rd birthday

8 Apr
Me at 33. Depressing isn't it.

Me at 33. Depressing isn’t it.

I turned 33 today. “Happy Jesus birthday” as one friend remarked. I’ve reached the dizzying height at which God manifest in flesh form was crucified. The age which as a child I wanted my Sligo-born grandmother to say repeatedly over and over and over. This dirty tree of a man stands on a life-point pivot, delicately balanced and surveying all around him before he continues over the next obstacle.

As a rule I hate birthdays. They’re largely depressing affairs. As a child my school friends regularly held big parties. I recall just the two – one of which was a complete disaster. In my post-teenage years I’ve often spent them alone. My 21st birthday was spent much the same as this one, in a funk, trying to complete a relatively simple piece of coursework. Instead of doing anything particularly fun. Even the trip out at the end of the evening for some honeycomb icecream from Mauds failed to lift my Marvin-esque spirit.

I don’t feel older. I don’t feel anything really. Though a look in the mirror shows my face continuing to jowl, and my hair continue its retreat from my scalp. This bed-sit existence I find myself in may occasionally kid me into thinking I’m fifteen years younger, but the debts, responsibilities, and continued popping out of fresh offspring by family and friends remind me that a huge chunk my time on earth is already spent.

Birthday ice cream

Birthday ice cream

The last couple of weeks have been filled with Film Festival frenzy, my mind and my time committed to the various activities going on and my own obligations as part of the event. That only really ended last night, and so while a certain amount of partying and socialising has indeed gone on over the last few days, that was all rather premature, and not about me. Surely its okay to be selfish once in a while and say, actually can we do something else instead – after the day?

I’m being mardy and ungrateful I know. Needlessly complaining because time has moved on and I’ve barely noticed the fact. I’m sulking because all I want to do is pour a nice big glass of Baileys and have a soak in the bath, and instead I’ve had to thrash myself for my inability to complete a powerpoint presentation. I’m complaining because I have wasted so much time – in procrastination, poor relationships, and misdirected professional activity. Its only a shot away from turning 40 now, which seems like proper old.

Anyway, in spite of the handful of cards in the post, and the lovely messages on Facebook, I do rather feel like Richie in Bottom today. Begrudgingly trying to get in the mood, and utterly failing. Guess I can try and do something more fun in a couple of days once I’ve got my other commitments out of the road…

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