They say it’s your birthday

6/15/2022

Jack installed the bidet for my birthday. That means a lot if you know Jack. I was touched.

I put on makeup and then felt itchy so I took off all the makeup and now I’m going out with practically no makeup and it’s fine because I’m a grown up and my friends know what my face looks like!

Me, with a face full of makeup, before taking it off

_________________

Nikola just told me…

gasp…

we’re going to see PAUL FRICKIN MCCARTNEY TOMORROW!!!!

____________________

Mikey shares my dad’s birthday, which makes a lot of sense in a lot of ways.

But he didn’t piece it together until tonight that I share a birthday with his mother, which makes a lot of sense too.

A double synchronicity.

______________________

I got sung Happy Birthday in Spanish, Portuguese and Serbian.

What else happened, let’s see…

I wore a great dress. I bought it at Anthropologie ten years ago for no reason in particular. It hung in various closets over the course of that decade.The vibe is very Gilded Age. Titanic. Beige. Buttons up the back. Laser burnout lace. Appliqué lace. Satin trim.

It was a hit but it it has to go back into the closet for an age because it’s not the kind of thing you can wear to multiple events around the same people unless you’re Tiffany Haddish.

The boys played two songs for me. Lottie (Teaheads) and Somebody Else (The 1975).

Andrea made a delicious yellow cake with chocolate frosting and rainbow sprinkles. Alert all the eligible men that she is ready for marriage.

I love my people. And I love that they’re ok with me being awkward and shy. I didn’t really want to socialize with people last night. I’m shy to the point of wanting to hide even on a good day. Birthday level attention makes me want to burrow in a hole in the ground.

So I stood by the band because that’s my safe place. And I hung out outside with Kim so I could give her my full attention.

I’ll remember more later. What I can say is that it was one of my favorite birthdays because I was surrounded with presence. Not presents. But presence.

____________________

6/16/2022

I shall faithfully recount today’s events for as long as I remain awake.

I went into the city to meet Nikola, Travis and Tyler (+ sundry Rigdons) at Rudy’s. The beer’s cheap. The hot dogs are free. And it’s close to Port Authority. Port Authority is where you catch a bus to Met Life Stadium in New Jersey. New Jersey is where Paul McCartney played tonight.

But the bus vibes weren’t right and we were worried that traffic might keep up from getting there in time. “Nikola,” I said, “You’re good at logistics. Get us there.”

So he led us to the C train and then to Penn Station to the NJTransit train ticket machines and onto a train to Met Life Stadium like he was on a mission from God.

Travis showed up just in time for Paul to start.

Travis, in full regalia

We sat in the nosebleeds.

I cried three times. Nikola led us back to the A train and I came home and ate two slices of pizza.

I cried once because I was sad about John. I cried a second time because Paul sang Hey Jude. And a third time when he closed with Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End.

Paul had not one but two local Jersey boys on stage. The Boss, Mr. Bruuuuuuuce Springsteen himself, played. And Bon Jovi led us in singing happy birthday to Paul (6/18).

Sir Paul and Sir Bon Jovi (I don’t think he’s been knighted but he’s a demigod in Jersey)

The sky threatened rain. Two drops fell. And then Paul sat down at the Yamaha grand piano to play Live and Let Die and the heavens rained for the duration of the song that included PYROTECHNICS. It felt very intentional.

The Beatles formed me. I still remember the first time I heart Sgt. Pepper. And Abbey Road. And I Will off the White Álbum.

I’m cried out.

Paul’s still got it. The last thing he said before leaving the stage was, “See you next time.” He’s two days short of 80 and he’s STILL got it.

I’m dead. Here’s the SETLIST for the night.

Paul McCartney sang The Beatles birthday song last night. It was the day after my birthday but I’m not gonna split hairs, people.

He sang it for me, alright?

_____________________

I have a real hard time with compliments, words of affirmation and I love you’s.

Wanna watch me squirm? Put people in a room and have them acknowledge my existence. It’s my worst nightmare. I will change the subject or walk away.

I could tell you the reasons why but at the end of the day, none of that really matters.

But when someone makes me feel safe? Man, I feel special. Safety is my love language because it means I can exhale from the constant taking care of myself with all my limitations and sensitivities. I can never explain to you how limited I am in this world and how dangerous it can be to someone autistic. How do I get by? With a lot of help from my friends.

I told Nikola last night to keep an eye on me. I get lost in crowds and there were multiples of tens of thousands of people. Nikola has hawk eyes and he’s tall. He kept me by him the whole time and explained things so I could understand every step. The whole night.

Tyler did head counts to make sure all of us grouped back up.

I worry that I’m a burden. I don’t shake that as I get older. If anything, my vulnerability gets more apparent. I worry about this because it has been a problem in the past with other people. Back when I didn’t know I was autistic I didn’t have words to explain my issues or the ability to express need for help and kindness. The result was a lot of anxiety, meltdowns, burn outs and breakdowns. A lot of heartache. A lot of staying home.

But not last night, my friends. Not last night.

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