03 July 2010

Upcoming Anniversaries

One year ago today, I was making my final preparations to go to Trinidad.  I would leave the following day, which was Independence Day--and my birthday.

As I recall, I was making trips to the drugstore and supermarket so I would have at least some of what I needed when I got home.  I didn't expect to be in any physical condition to shop or do other errands; even if I were, I thought, I might not be in the mood.

It's funny how last-minute logistical preparations take on such importance when you're about to embark on a life-changing journey.  If I recall correctly, the narrator of Sophie's Choice--a movie I hated, by the way, in spite of Meryl Streep's presence and the fact that it was based on a very good book--was getting ready to go off and fight in World War II.  He enlisted in the Navy, but he was underweight.  So, he said, he spent the days before he had to return to the recruitment station engaged in eating bananas and masturbating.

Of course, there was a practical reason for eating the bananas.  So it would make sense to recall that.  But why did he recall masturbating?  In the face of a war one is going to fight, that would seem to be one of the most banal detail of all.

Now I remember that the surgery was four days away, and I was making my final preparations to go to it.  And now I am preparing for two birthdays, if you will:  my natal one, and the anniversary of my surgery.  I wonder if I will dread or look forward to subsequent anniversaries of my surgery as I and other people do to our birthdays.