The Good Years: 40
I turn 41 today. All of a sudden I'm overcome with a feeling of brief mortality. 'Cause I'm getting on in the world. Coming up on 41 years, 41 gray, stoney steps toward the grave, y'know, the box...
If you want to say Happy Birthday, thanks, put it on my Facebook wall. I write here because, simply put, 40 was the best year of my life. Still sucked for huge chunks of it, because I'm Joe, but it's hard to argue with the overall success. 40 saw the birth of my son, Holden, and my getting married to this:
(And it's going smashingly. We've been married almost four whole months! Which is about three and a half months longer than my last marriage.) 40 also saw...let's just say, financial stability. I bought my first house, four bed-, three baths, high in the hills. My son will go to college. For those of you keeping score at home, that's family, money, and...
I was holding off on writing this post because I felt certain I'd have the book deal before today came. Really. Good things always come in threes, right? I was so certain that I wrote my agent, Michele, yesterday and told her to stay by the phones and computer. Like an Applegate, I waited.
I'm not even being flippant. Well, maybe a little flippant. But I was ready to sell off my worldly possessions (well, not the really nice expensive ones, just the crap given to me from yard sales), shave my head, and wait for the publishing spaceship to whisk me away.
But it never came.
I am not an optimistic guy, but it just seemed like...fate, y'know? I'd come back from the dead (i.e., Hepatitis Heights), survived the trials, tribulations, and one more religious analogy, it just made sense. One year to get everything I ever wanted. It would've been too perfect. Maybe that's the problem. Too perfect. I mean, maybe it would've been overkill. And I wouldn't want to be a douche like this guy.
This is the Brian McCarthy. Kicking that karma foot a little deeper in the collective scrotum, Brian McCarthy is the son of Marriott president, multi-millionaire Robert McCarthy. That's right, $107 million to the son of a multi-millionaire. And meanwhile, somewhere a family of four huddles under the freeway, roasting a squirrel. But don't worry: Brian donated a whole $50,000--that's right, $1,000 50 times--to charity. Never been much of a math guy, but I think that works out to, something like, .00000000035% of his total worth. Which should make you sleep more soundly tonight. It's the sort of mindfuck that years ago would've had me saying it proved there is no God. But I don't do that anymore. These days I subscribe to the "I've learned two things in my life" philosophy: 1.) There is a God. And 2.) I ain't him. I've been way too fortunate, too blessed, to fuck with that shit. Just file this one under "Life Isn't Fair"--right between Jennifer Lopez's mother winning powerball and the guy who invented the Snuggie
Extra videos. Y'know, 'cause it's my birthday. My friend, Dan, tells this funny story from our junkie days, how every year on my birthday I'd expect people to give free dope, and when they wouldn't, I'd get very indignant and be, all, "But it's my birthday!" Until I was 30. I think it goes back to my mother, who always made a big deal out of my birthday, throwing surprise parties until I was, like, 16, and I'd wear my full authentic Yankees' uniform, and everyone would come, and they'd give me stuff. A day just for me. Presents for me. Cake for me. Me. She was a good mother. I miss her. Every kid's birthday should be like that. Even if it doesn't necessarily translate to life as a hobo. (Hobos don't care much about birthdays.)
So, yeah, 40 is gone. But it was a good fucking year. The first birthday wish I received today was from...NFL.com. Which is too perfect, considering how Tom Brady fucked me raw last night (and not in a good way). This is my life these days, not (necessarily) getting fucked by Tom Brady but the tranquil, domestic bliss of fantasy football. And my wife and son (and Lucky Dog). In my new house, working out in my home gym to keep my original hip, and writing. I still play rock 'n' roll. I am still a handsome (if neurotic) mutherfucker. I may not be Brian McCarthy. Or Tom Brady. But I can't complain. At least for one day.
I gotta go. My buddy Dan is bringing me garden-fresh tomatoes, I'm sure. My garden tanked this year. His was abundant. So he's gotta bring me tomatoes. It's my birthday.