Apr 22, 2013

Birthdays are not happy occasions at all


I’ve been feeling very low lately, because of my birthday coming up. I love my birthday month, I plan trips on my birthday month, I plan on having tattoos, or piercings, or losing weight, making career plans, and remembering my last year of life that past. When it comes to the actual day it’s different.  
My family has been through something of an ordeal the last 5 years. Every time I try to be happy or try to forget the problems that my family has had, they fall on me and I don’t get a chance to really be happy, or to at least live a normal life. This year, I just had a small wish that the series of problems that we've had for the past 5 years, maybe, just maybe were going to be solved before my birthday, so that I could maybe, be happy on my birthday. My birthday will be in half an hour, and yet another year of my life will begin with this huge cloud drowning me. And that is why I've been down, so much down lately. My favorite book Three Comrades of Remarque starts with Robert Lohkamp on his birthday, writing down all the birthdays he could remember and where he was in them. I’d like to do that, even though I don’t have horrific war stories.

2012 I was in Barcelona with my friend Kamela. I wanted to escape the country, because I didn't want to celebrate it, I didn't want to have any expectations on that day, especially because it was an anniversary, 25 years. Kamela and I went out before midnight and went to a place that served tapas and beer so we had a cute time there. That day we went to a nice place in the evening. It was nice to have my birthday in Barcelona, even though I missed my family. But then my sister did a number on me. A few days after I came back home, she had planned an impromptu birthday party for me and basically tried at the last minute to invite whoever she could find, friends and acquaintances and family. At first, this person who doesn't like being in the center of attention was completely surprised, and not in a good way, but alcohol and the presence of the karaoke machine, lowered the pressure and I had a good time. The funny part was that I was supposed to go on a first date that day, which I had to push. That whole thing went…well…another train wreck.

2011 I wanted to go out with my family, but my parents were leaving town and they weren't exactly in a good mood. I went out with my sister at the Japanese restaurant. My parents not being there and my overly depressive dad’s face weighed on me all day.

2010 I spent my birthday at home with some people coming over. I remember crying that day. I don’t know exactly why, but it must be because nothing was as it was supposed to be.

2009 I was preparing myself for a career fair at school. I did get a job because of that career fair, the worst job in the world that humiliated me and crushed my self-confidence for a year and half. I was writing resumes and preparing for the career fair and wasn’t in the mood to celebrate at all. I just wanted to find a job as soon as possible so I could start helping out at home, or at least stop weighing on them. I didn’t care what job I was going to start, I just needed a job. I guess I had something like a family dinner.

2008 I think I went out at Serendipity with family and my friend Migena. It was the year before the robbery that took all of my family’s money and other people’s money from us. It was before things were so fucked up that I would want to quit school and would not even want to go out with friends or date, or even be able to feel like a normal person who can socialize or understand other people who didn’t have grave problems like my family did. But that day I wasn’t very happy. My new boyfriend had forgotten my birthday and he hadn’t called me or texted me or emailed me or anything. I forgave him, I’m an idiot.
2007 My twentieth. Family at the Durrës house. I had my tatoo, I had a cute dress, I had the nice cake with the candles and the lyrics of a song about being 20 in my cake. I had a great time that day.
2006 Oh my, I remember. I went out with my best friend Elda and my boyfriend of the time. I don’t like remembering that relationship. I was so clueless towards my friend and so awful breaking up with him later that year.
2005 18, that’s a good year. I’ve no clue how I celebrated it. Maybe I didn’t. Maybe I took some friends out for coffee at Real Skampini, the coffee shop in the middle of the castle of the town, on a sunny day. I don’t know if that was 2005 or 2004 No clue.
2003 Sweet 16. Big birthday party. My whole class, I think that was the last time I had a big birthday party with just friends. It took me two hours to get my hair done, my classmates were surprised I could actually pull off a skirt, and I have no idea where the hell my camera went. It was a nice little club. It was a great collection of music, and a lot of dancing. I miss those days when we actually went to a club to dance, not to hump the table while looking like whores. I think my best friends at the time were talking about the party for the whole month until it happened.
2002 No idea
2001 I think I had a birthday party with my class at a place near the house. We actually had fun.
The others before than that, I can’t really remember, I know I did have a couple of birthday parties at our house with classmates, the big Elbasan house that we sold. That was a good house. I used to be so thin. I have no idea where photographs of these events are but they are imprinted in my mind. I know that in one of those birthday parties a couple of Kosovar classmates came at my party. It was the year the Albanian population doubled when the war of Kosovo struck out. I heard about genocide for the first time as something real, not from the history books. Before that I thought I lived in an era where wars didn’t exist anymore. I used to have this stupid concept in my mind that people of my era, of my generation were somehow evolved and didn’t believe in wars or hate, or racism anymore. It took me a long time to realize that there are homophobes, and racists, and wars in the world. That’s what happens when you watch too much TV but no news. I was such a happy child.
As for today, Happy Birthday to me I guess. But that’s no day more depressing than a birthday, to an adult. It’s a day that gives you so much pressure and expectations, a day that is supposed to be about you, a day that is supposed to be a celebration of your life. I didn’t go to a war like Robert Lokamp and I did have some good birthdays, but that bastard met Patrice Hollman, the love of his life later that day. What did he have to complain about?  Maybe if I liked Rum and I had a crazy friend like Gotfried Lenz, I could actually try and celebrate the day of my birth, but then again, I really feel like there’s not so much worth celebrating, not this year. I’m alive, whoopdeedoo.  

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