Birthday Musings

June 25, 2009

Thirty Three years ago I was born and almost died. I was two months and some weeks premature. I was a twin for three hours, and then I was not. At some point, when I was very young, someone showed me his tombstone: I’d not yet learned to read and remember thinking if I could just understand what was written on it I would know some part of him. But I could not, and it seemed too much to ask the grieving adults around me, so I never found out. At the time I assumed it was an explanation for why he had died, and I had not.

I learned to read soon after.


6 Responses to “Birthday Musings”

  1. Pollyanna Says:

    “I learned to read soon after.”

    Happily for us, at some point you also learned to write. On a more personal note, to say I’m glad you made it through such precarious beginnings is a huge understatement, but glad I am.

    May your day be filled with delicious toast, luxurious loungings, and assorted sordid delights. xoxoxoxo

  2. max Says:

    Happy Birthday AJ.

  3. Jive Says:

    Given the relatively low word count that piece still managed to deliver a solid dose of thought and emotion into my day. A lean yet formidable featherweight of prose you could say. Well written sir, and happy birthday

  4. sulya Says:

    That is beautiful, Valliant.


    It made me ache and cry.
    In both good and hard ways.

    To all the words you will read this year.
    To all the words you will write…

    The world is measurably better because you learned to do both.

    Happy Belated Birthday, sir.

  5. Pollyana, Max, Jive, Sulya: thank you kindly; It was a fine birthday and strange piece to write.

  6. Sally Says:

    This remains a beautiful piece of writing. Thinking back it feels like that particular time in your life was much longer ago than it acutally is… a lot has changed since then.

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