They say it’s your birthday...

I never attach much significance to my birthday, it’s just another day normally, yet this year something special is in the air or in my mind. This year is a watershed year for me. It marks my 3-year anniversary in Europe and the first birthday here without K. wishing me well.

It comes as I question my motivations for building a life here and at a moment in which I am extremely homesick for the US and bored with Germany. It comes just months after I began a new job here in Mainz and a new chapter in my life.

Today the weather is beautiful and I can’t help but think it would be a perfect day to eat some mushroom chocolate and trip out a bit. But I’m alone and I would rather share the chocolate with a friend.

Last night I took myself out for a few drinks. It was pretty boring. I have an especially hard time overcoming my shyness here in Germany since I don’t speak the language so well. My roommate, Siriwan, baked me a birthday cake last night while I was out at the bar. I discovered it this morning. Blew my mind. She hardly knows me (we’ve only been roommates for 3 weeks) and yet she went and spent hours on that. Add in the fact that she didn’t start until I had left at 10:30 pm. Other birthday wishes came from family and co-workers.

So what will I do with myself today and tonight? The nightlife here in Mainz is better than that in Wiesbaden, but again I find that Germans are tough nuts to break open socially. People don’t go out to the bar to meet new people. I’m not sure how people make new friends here. It seems even more clique oriented than Italy. People go out with their friends and they don’t socialize with anybody else.

I keep dreaming of meeting my kind of people over here, you know; hippie-kids, travellers, starving artists and writers, yet they remain hidden from me. I just read Steppenwolf and found the book to describe a whole ´another Germany. One where jazz held sway and the roaring 20s were in full swing. One where intellectual activity wasn’t something to be ashamed of and one in which there was an active counter-culture. That clearly doesn’t exist any longer.

I’m thinking since I’ve had no luck meeting women that maybe I’ll start hitting the gay bars. Maybe after a 2.5-year monogamous heterosexual relationship I should try something different. I haven’t been with a man since the end of my time in Italy when I slept with Marco (who I’ll be seeing in May). If nothing else I’m sure I could get laid. Men have always found me more attractive than women.

Just the same more than sex, more than a relationship what I would like to find here is a good friend. Someone to puff with, someone to talk to, someone to go to movies with. Someone who can relate to me and I can relate to. I feel so much more alienated here than I ever did in Italy or America.

The world has changed so much around me in the past 10 years. I think back to 1993 and the life I was leading then. My marriage was on the rocks. I was a new father. I was a LSD dealer. I was living in Santa Cruz, California and going to Grateful Dead shows.

Now I work for a corporation, I wear a tie, and I’m single again. At least I’ll go and see The Dead in August in Joliet, Illinois. Some things remain the same. So if any of you have any ideas for what I should be doing with myself let me know.

Life moves so fast, but the moments move so slowly. Oh, what I want to know is where does the time go? One more trip around the sun & another day older and deeper in debt. Where will I be tomorrow? Where will I be in 2004?