Happy Damned Birthday

Birthdays have always been an ominous occasion for me. I can never find a reason to celebrate because of the stark reminders carried by such a milestone. I’m certainly a glass-half-empty kind of person when it comes to this, probably because my glass full of life just got emptier at the passing of yet another year.

I’ve been obsessed with this image of a long curve or arc that symbolises time stretching inversely across the horizon with only the very tip of its apex brushing the soil. And that single moment of its brushing represents my entire lifetime in the context of the universe, making me realise exactly how insignificant my existence really is.

And this is not even close to my birthday, which incidentally has ceased to hold any significance for me, be it joyous or otherwise. It really has faded into just another day, because it has never changed the condition of my life in any way except to serve as a reminder that I’m supposed to take a moment to benchmark my life against others that have grovelled for as long as I have.

We’re all beggars. Some just more dignified than others. Who is not begging for happiness or contentment, wealth or comfort, companionship and fame? At our weaker moments we morbidly acknowledge this, but when the memory of pain subsides, such realisations are discarded in favour of feelings of false elation. Forgetfulness is probably our greatest gift and mercy. Imagine the pain of a life that bore the intensity of the memories of every moment of distress or destitution? 

Oh yes, birthdays…I hate those. It’s supposed to signify the passing of another year, when in fact it’s just the passing of yet another day. Just another day, with more significance attached to it than anyone could ever justify. How I despise the feeble-minded that define themselves by such whimsical milestones!

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