Well, I had two years of sobriety last Saturday, and as i sit in a hotel room in Palm Springs, CA. – getting ready to go to the NAATP Conference to introduce It's all in the JOURNEY to California – I remember my last birthday. My last natal birthday.



The day started with me waking up, drinking a cup of coffee, then getting in my shower.


The water was hot, and invigorating. For a moment.


Since I am moving next week I kinda put off paying my water bill.




I catch the man as he is leaving and talk him into turning the water back on for a little while.


Standing there in a towel, dripping wet, and crying it's my birthday might have helped.


So I go to City Hall, pay my bill (plus $20 late fee), and get reassurance the water will be back on in a few hours.


Satisfied, I drive to work. As I enter my office (I have an office!), my secretary (I have a secretary!) runs up shouting, "Happy Birthday Boss!"


She gives me a bear hug. Releases me, and we both stare as the lens of my new, 2 day old glasses pops off, twirling in the air like a coin flip before a football game.




I assure her it's alright, and we start to work. But,

It's too hard typing while squinting through one eye, through one lens.


So I go and get the glasses fixed.


I return to work, do a little editor editing, and we break for lunch. I return home to let the dogs out.


As I approach home I see a tag hanging off the door.


I squint to read it, before realizing that I had both lenses in, and open my other eye.


I squint again. With my suddenly furrowed brow.


The city had come by to turn the water back on, but,


I had left a faucet on so they were not able to resupply my water service.




I call the number and a very put off person sighs himself;


Letting me know how much of an inconvenience I am, but says he will send someone back out.


Back to work for the rest of the day, and finally I am on my way home for the night.


I arrive, no tag hanging off the door, and enter with a whistle on my lips and a jig in my step.


I was owed a hot shower.


Said hello to the dogs, got undressed, and turned the water in the shower on to let it warm up.




Take three guesses, the first two don't count.


I call city hall.


A recording tells me the hours of operation.




I get dressed, go to Publix, and buy 5, gallon jugs of water.


I get the publix generic brand.


Back home, I decide to make Shake and Bake chicken.


Get the chicken out, open it, get the baking dish out, grab the box of Shake and Bake, and,


Realize I need to wet the chicken before coating it.






I have water! 5 gallons of it!


Triumphant, I tear off the top of the box, pull out the plastic bag to put the chicken in, then pull out the bag of mix with a snap.


And watch in utter, stunned, disbelief, as a cloud, no,


A blizzard,


Of coating mix swirls through the air like sleet,


On a windy, winter day.


Finally settling onto EVERYTHING in the kitchen.




I look around, then at the bag the mixture came in,


Knowing I had torn it by pulling it out of the box too hard.


I hadn't.


The machine that sealed it,








The side of it was open.


The side.




Like an envelope slit neatly open along it's crease.


It was never sealed,




Whatever they do to them.


What are the odds, I wondered, and,




Then laughed.


In the scheme of life?


This WAS a birthday present!


Because if this was the worse day I'd had in as long as I could remember? (And it was)


What a wonderful birthday present!




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