Today is Holden’s twenty-fifth birthday. There is a small rock sunk deep in my ribcage, my throat is cement and my eyes are overflowing. When that happens I go to my keyboard and let go. I want his name to be spoken, his face to be pictured and his laugh to be heard. I want him here, and because that is not possible, I want him present in whatever way he can be conjured.
I imagine birthdays past. Cupcakes and blue icing on cheeks, water guns soaking hair, laser tag all sweaty and smiling, slip and slide in the backyard, the coveted Complete Calvin and Hobbes Collection; the shouts and laughter. A summer birthday has fewer guests and more outdoor fun. As he got older, new cel phones, clothing, dinners out, a trip to New York, a case of Ichiban noodles and that first legal beer. I recall practical gifts for a burgeoning new adult life. Continue Reading →