So it's my birthday.

I'd planned on forgetting that, but I awoke at noon to the sound of my monophonic ringtone and my grandmother's voice wishing me a happy birthday in that inflection I've never heard from the mouth of anyone else. She lets me know that a card is in the mail.

(Am I a schmuck for really, really hoping there's a check inside that overly-sentimental--and probably glittery--piece of Hallmark posterboard?)

I feel years older as she tells me about one of her acquaintances' daughters who lives here in New York City, making over a hundred dollars a night in tips alone as a waitress at a classy franchised restaurant.

"Did you have to work last night?"

"No, actually, I went out drinking."

Those two lines of dialogue... hurt. Little does she know that I might as well be unemployed, am verging on alcoholism when I'm not careful, and wondering where next month's rent is coming from. My feeling older has nothing to do with the passing of another twelve months. While I told her that her phonecall absolutely made my day, I'll never let on that was one of the most brutal ways to start it off. I've never liked my own birthdays, but I do appreciate the thought, after all.

My roommate just woke up for about seven seconds, said "Happy birthday," and promptly passed back out in a quite possibly hungover stupor. Our bar tends to have that effect, but somehow I've managed to evade those little sledgehammer-swinging bastards that vacation in one's head the morning after a bout of healthy drunken debauchery. Rock.

So it's my birthday. There's food in the fridge, a fresh pack of cigarettes in my jacket pocket, a little money in my wallet, and the season finale of Enterprise airs in T-minus three hours.

Maybe it won't be such a lousy day after all.