A Year Older, A Year Wiser, I Hope…

I turned 44 on Sunday, but my birthday brought some strife for the second consecutive year.

The day before, my mother and I went up to visit her sister (and my aunt) up in Inverness in Citrus County, about 80 miles north of where I live. The most direct path had us going up the Veterans Expressway and the Suncoast Parkway, going through Brooksville and getting on some country roads before reaching the destination point.

For reasons that still elude me, Mom decides to put lipstick on her mouth on one of these country roads with a 50-55 MPH speed limit. Her Toyota Corolla nicknamed “Silver” goes on to the shoulder, and we go into a spin that lasts a second or two, but seems to last an eternity because I am in the car. It’s the second time this year I’ve had a close call in the passenger seat, having another back in March when my landlord and I are riding back from the local Petco with Harry (the cat I inherited from him) when he vomits in the car into the hat he’s wearing while he was driving.

The next day, we were going to go to Zom Hee’s, a local Chinese restaurant in Seminole that I’ve gone to on my birthday every year since 2006. When it starts raining around 4pm, with what happened the day before still fresh in my mind, I start thinking it might be a good idea to evade going, which pissed her off.

I’d rather have her pissed off at me and be alive as opposed to the alternative. That decision was a no-brainer.

Her memory seems to be going, too. For example, the trip up to Citrus County had an unusual suggestion from Mapquest: to take I-275 into Tampa, and take Kennedy Boulevard for a couple of lights to get on the Veterans Expressway, as opposed to directly getting from 275 to the Vet. I looked at Google Maps and saw why: Kennedy to the Vet would be much smoother, while 275 to the Vet would be a menagerie of merges.

Before I left, I tipped her off that this (taking 275 to Kennedy to the Vet) was a good idea, and she agreed. Right before we turn off to Kennedy, she’s asking me questions like she never heard me mention the plan half an hour earlier.

Welcome to my world.


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