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Day 46

The rain! It was fantastic this morning, blowing in freezing sheets.

I was angry as hell, for some reason that is (superficially) difficult to divine. Simon the dog was whining incessantly to go outside, until I took him, in the freezing sheets of rain, with Sophie also screaming, and cold (because I can't leave her inside) and I didn't even give him time to poop, just let him pee on a tree three or four trees before dragging them both inside. I admit that I raised my voice at the dog, telling him that he was driving me crazy. He does, sometimes, because he is extraordinarily attached to me, follows me all around the apartment with his sad eyes, begging for more affection. My mom used to say this: "Everyone wants something from me!" It can drive a woman insane to always be needed, to never be the one needing a thing.

Well, I slept enough last night (finally), so I shouldn't be angry at all. But I know what it is, not lack of sleep, but my birthday. I am shocked to be turning 29 tomorrow, that I am still unpublished, still fading slowly from the world. Older people laugh at this, saying that I'm still young. But it feels like the beginning of the end. It has for years.

On one of my birthdays, I walked right out of a university class. It was cold and rainy (like it is today), and I put on my coat and walked a few miles, somewhere where I was going to buy myself a slice of cake or something, just to do something, just to be cold and alone on a sidewalk for a few hours. I can't remember where I ended up or what I did, but then my boyfriend (which one was it?) picked me up, took me somewhere. I don't remember the day, but I do remember the walking, a milder version of the running, which is my preferred birthday activity.

Annie Dillard wrote, "Quick: why aren't you dusting? On every continent, we sweep floors and wipe tabletops not only to shine the place, but to forestall burial."

Perhaps I will add this activity to the birthday canon: running (or walking long distances in search of distraction) and dusting.


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