Where babies come from
my joker origin story
At around 1am last Sunday evening, a cockroach found its way into my bedroom. Before you picture a tiny bug scurrying across the wood stained floor, just know that it was crawling on my ceiling. An upside down, 4 inch long, terror in the sky. It fluttered its way down my wall and onto my floor, where it was easy to trap under a deli container. Yes, cockroaches can fly.
Cockroaches are, above all, resilient. They can go 30 days without food. I can’t. Last week I was driving on the highway and I hadn’t eaten all day and I had to pull over in New Jersey to get a pizza so I didn’t pass out. I’m nothing like a cockroach except I love attention.
This past year has been the best and worst of my life. I gained and lost friendships, relationships, and weight. I’m writing this from my bed even though I now have a desk and a couch and a kitchen table, because my frontal lobe still isn’t fully formed. I assume starting tomorrow, when I turn 25, I’ll only be able to write with perfect posture, pen and pipe in hand and mouth, sitting at my desk overlooking the trees.
Every year, around this time on May 14th, my Mom tells me “this time, x years ago, I had a tummy ache.” I was born around 2am on May 15th. My family had dinner at a since closed Italian restaurant off Rockville Pike. In utero, one drop of carbonara trickled down to me and I decided that was my moment to join Earth. Except I didn’t decide, I was due on May 15th. I was exactly on time. Critics are calling it, the first and last time I was on time to anything in my life.
25 years ago I was born and I cried and I was jaundice. Had jaundice? Anyway. My skin was yellowish and I had to sit in the sun so my liver would work. Doctors, do not fact check me on this.
I’ve told you guys before that I think my birthday is more of a new year than January 1st. But Rosh Hashanah is more of a new year than my birthday because it marks the day where, even though another 365 days have passed, I still want to dip fruit in honey like a baby bear.
So, another year passes and I still don’t know how to clip my bra without clipping it in front of me and turning it around. Another year gone, and I cannot tolerate the taste and smell of blue cheese. Another year, and nobody will tell me how planes work.
I did some new things in my 24th year. I traveled internationally alone, I got paid to perform stand-up, and I experimented with matte eyeshadow. I’m a proud mother of two (there are two spiders that, to my knowledge, have lived near my fire escape for 4 months.)
Birthdays are a lot like New Years in that people make lofty wishes and goals. We like to look at an arbitrary date and say ok, when the clock strikes that, That is when I will change. But if we keep waiting for dates and signs and horoscopes to tell us to shift things to better suit us, we will be waiting for a long time. I’m talking self checkout line at CVS long.
24 has been, for me, the year of no more waiting. When I want to tell jokes, I tell them. When I want to go dancing (one singular time) I do it. When I want to eat leftover pasta, I eat it cold out of the container. Like I said, no waiting.
25 is going to be the year of the cockroach. I’m going where I want, I’m running around town, I’m walking on the walls of life. I’m surviving in harsh conditions, and looking for snacks. You can try to kill me but you can’t. My best friend is a Pixar robot.
Here’s to 25, a quarter century. To renting a car and other cliches that accompany this age. Here’s to the ladies who lunch and the guys who remember my favorite wine. This is for the people who wanted me to disrupt the repetition in threes because I’m not a fucking Presidential candidate addressing an old folks home.
Here’s to 25. My Jordan year. Don’t fact check me on this.
The best thing I ate this week:
Was the Caesar salad from La Villa on 5th ave in Brooklyn. It had everything a Caesar needs- crisp romaine, garlic croutons, fresh parm, and dressing as thick as paint. I go back and forth on whether or not I want to get married one day, but if I do, we’re doing tableside Caesars all around. That way, if I get divorced, at least I can sleep peacefully knowing I secretly introduced some of my dearest family and friends to the wonder of the anchovy.