It is the eve of my birthday.  Tomorrow I will be officially, unequivocally, physically and mentally unable to bear children.  Oh I am sure doctors would say there are possibly a few stray eggs left down there, swimming around still hoping for their big break, but it’s like I said to my Aspiring Actor boyfriend, you are too old, give it up.  Luckily, I have prepared myself for this day, for the past three years I have been telling myself that it is not the end of the world if I do not have a child. It sucks, but the world will still go on, I will not die.  It’s funny because I still feel around 34.  I think I look about 36, but I feel exactly 34 years old.  Old enough not to drink so much tequila that I puke out of car doors, but young enough to do a shot of tequila and make out with a stranger every once in a while.  My life this past year has been filled with a strange and unbelievable calm the likes of which I have never experienced, having lived a life of tumult and pain since before I can remember.  I always thought if I had such a year, a year with very little pain, a year with only an almost imperceptible undercurrent of ambient noise and nothing else, I would achieve great things.  Finally, I would publish my novel, sell the television rights, spend my days fielding emails from ex-friends wanting to reconcile and I would fall in love with the type of man who does not tolerate drama in his life of any kind.  A quiet and strong man who wants to sit on various docks discussing books and our favorite plays and who would scoff at the chaos that plagued me in years past would decide he loves me for my solitary nature.

None of this happened really, I barely remember the past year.  I was recovering from the kind of grief that stops you in your tracks and takes your breath away for a whole year.  Grief such as this is incurable: it is a lifelong affliction much like the MS that litters my spinal cord and brain.  I did, however, finally find a way to live with the grief, not survive as I was doing for the first six months, barely breathing, plodding to work and home as if my feet were stuck in buckets of ice, I found a way to breathe out after long last and here I am, on the eve of my birthday, living with my grief a few blocks from the Pacific Ocean, thinking that now that I have that pesky pressure to birth babies out of the way, maybe now I will do something with my life.

Doing something with my life, of course, means to finish the novel for which I have a book deal that has now most likely expired, but the book, or books in me have not expired, book deal or not, they are in there clamoring to get out, begging me like the periodical well-meaning emails I get from friends every once in a while asking when my next column will magically appear online.  I don’t just want to finish my novel, which has been written in many forms for years, I want it to be great, to honor all of the books I have ever read, so many thousands of books that have helped me through a hellish childhood and a confusing and sad adulthood.  I know it won’t be great on every page, my substandard education and proclivity for crippling procrastination will prevent that kind of brilliance: I would be happy if it were great just for a second, a line here or there and a small whisper of the story that has been writing itself inside my head for years, I need to write it all down and so I shall.

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