It occurs to my that my birthday is now just shy of a month away. I grew up in the “big city” of Little Rock. Little Rock is in the dead center of Arkansas, with the Ozark Mountains to the north and the west, and from Little Rock to Memphis, there’s nothing but endless flat fields, vast stretches of green so flat you might be convinced the earth truly is flat. If you are on a two-lane country road heading toward Memphis, at least when I was a kid, you’d still see the occasional rotting and dilapidated sharecropper’s home.
But the Ozarks were majestic. In October, the leaves of the trees would turn flaming yellow, sun-kissed orange, and crimson red. Organized by my “other mother,” Dova, we’d take drives in October to see the autumn foliage. Made my birthday seem special.
I only had one birthday party as a child — the one before my daddy died. Clips of it can be seen on my YouTube channel if you can endure the rest of the strung-together old, silent home movies. After my daddy died, my birthday became irrelevant, as did I.
So now I’m going down memory lane…. Odds and ends over the years. I don’t know how I managed to salvage some of my precious mementos and memories from the past from everything else Paula stole, but here are a few.
The above, a Valentine from my first partner, Dee, 1985.
The above, an anniversary note from Dee, 1985, our 8th year in a committed relationship.
The above, from my second partner, Donna, 1989. We’d been together for 3 years, and I’d just graduated with my BS degree in computer science.
The above, a birthday partner from my 3rd partner, Kim, 2000. We’d been together for 4 years. Kim was not the “romantic” type, I have to say. My first birthday after we were together (1996), she rushed into the door of our apartment and pulled an envelope our of her backpack. There was nothing written on the envelope and it was unsealed. I opened the card, and while it was cute, not one word was written on it, not even signed. She’d stopped at a store on the way home and bought it and then just thrust it into my hand. Won’t forget that birthday. You can see she got a little better, though.
Even after we broke up, Kim was still giving me birthday cards for a while — the above from 2005.
The other Octobers….
In October of 2009, I flew to England to meet Paula in person for the first time. While I was gone, I received a birthday card from my “other mother,” Dova. She had addressed it to “Mr.” because I had already transitioned. I have not bothered to obscure the addresses, because Dova and her husband are now deceased, and I sacrificed my home when I moved to the UK, and someone else owns it.
October 2009 Birthday
I was in England with Paula, no idea of the destruction and betrayal that would follow.
October 2010 Birthday
I was on an extended stay in the UK, and Paula and I and the kids had taken a road trip to Wales. On the day of my birthday, I received an email telling me my dear friend, Meg, had passed away after giving birth to her second son. I had no clue that Paula was lying to me about owning her home. Part of the purpose of my visit was to come home with a copy of the deed to her house, and the other documents I’d need to get my spousal visa. The following spring, I learned the truth. Wasn’t able to move to the UK for a full year (July 2011) after we were married because of her lies.
October 2011 Birthday
Photograph taken a couple of weeks before my birthday. On the day itself, Paula hit me in the face the first time.
October 2012 Birthday
October 2013 Birthday
I had my first new puppy, Cecil….
October 2014 Birthday
Don’t know, but it will be my best birthday since 2008!!
Sorry, embedding has been disabled, but it’s definitely worth a listen, so please go here.