At 30: my happily ever after

He came back toward me, with an intentness of purpose that told me what I needed to know, even before he said it:"It's just after midnight. Happy birthday."

At the end of the night, past the music and the conversation, Chris and I pulled out the sofa bed for him. As we did, the random shuffle served up Diana Krall's take on Joni Mitchell and I realized with a sudden hitch of breath that this little throwaway moment would be one that I remembered. She whispered her way through 'A Case Of You' while we untangled a purring, bright-eyed Tenzing from the sheets we wanted to place on the sofa bed.

Birthday week begins

I remember a time in which the Great Birthday Coincidence was a novelty, a source of joking amongst Jeff's family. "What, Jeff's birthday is the 16th, his sister's [Lori's] is the 18th, and this new girl's birthday is the 20th? All in October? That's convenient. Guess you'll just have one big cake then."(Yes, once, I was "the new girl.")

Inhalation: cleanup

Several days afterward, I found your snifter
lying in the cranny between sofa and table,
having come to rest next to the wall
after being brushed aside during the party.

The cats hadn't bothered it—yet—
but the dust was starting to stick, feather-
soft, to the rounded rim and fluted bowl.

I reached out to it, one breast pressed flat
against the side of the couch as my fingers
danced tantalizingly close, closer, and finally
brought the elusive glassware within reach.

Victorious, I cupped it with my fingers
and brought it gently to my nose, in an airy

Remember this. You'll see it again.

This is my birthday present to myself.

I spent the night playing with friends and laughing and pouring the occasional drink or two. We played cards and sent everyone except John (who is staying with us) home. We talked, he and I, until five a.m.—about Kenya, parents, siblings, past dates, love, life, and everything in between.

It is 5:20 on the day of my birthday. A year ago today, right about now, I was with Andy and Jen in New Jersey, preparing to take a train into New York. For my first taste of Manhattan.Through a typo while posting last year's NYC pictures, I marked a set of pictures as being from the Empire State Building when they were, in fact, from the top of World Trade Center 1. I made a comment to a netfriend about a picture of him at the same place; he said, "No, Amy, that's not ESB."