~Monday, November 28, 2011

Birthday Boy

It was Abraham's birthday. This time it was my turn to sit quietly as he bounced between two tables, reveling in his birthday celebration at the bar. People that I didn't know well approached him every 15 or so minutes with two shots in hand: one for the buyer and one for the birthday boy. Watching the interactions take place, there's one thing I knew for certain: that boy is beloved.

When asked for requests, he said anything but jager. I already had our shot in mind—the German chocolate cake shot. I bought it early in the night because I didn't know how long Abraham would be able to pace himself with so much liquor of every variety.

He happily teetered over to where I was sitting and talking. I pointed to the two shot glasses sitting in front of me. He playfully sighed.

"You take it just like tequila. Lick the sugar, take the drink and suck on the lemon," I instructed.

Abraham put the lemon in his mouth.

"No no no no!" My friend and I shouted as I batted the lemon away from him. "Like tequila!"

Abraham put the shot glass to his lips with the sugar side facing me. Again I grabbed the glass out of his hand.

"SUGAR. SHOT. LEMON."

He looked at me and grinned. None of this was registering with him; Abraham was drunk and carefree.

I reposition the shot glass in his hand so that the sugar was facing him. "Lick the sugar and then drink."

He obeyed.

"Now the lemon!"

Abraham sucked on the lemon. His eyes grew wide. "What just happened?"

"The lemon interacted with the sugar and made it feel like cake icing," explained my friend. "Did it taste like chocolate cake to you?"

"It did!"

I monitored him throughout the night. "On a level of 1 to 10, how drunk are you?"

"Six, but it's climbing."

“I’m going to need you to be at least an 8.5.”

We played flip cup. Abraham had played so well the week before that he stood cockily at the table. But the shots had interfered with his game. After losing for his team, he picked up his plastic cup and playfully threw it against the wall of the bar. I laughed.

I had dressed up for his birthday: knee-high black boots and a printed shift dress. One of the girls from the league kept rubbing my dress and telling me how good I looked and silky the dress was. Every time she did that, I’d shoot Abraham a pointed look. He’d grin.

Abraham began to run out of steam after flip cup broke up.

"I'm ready to go when you are," he said. "It's after midnight—it's not my birthday anymore."

"Are you sure?"

"Yeah."

“How drunk are you?”

“I’m an 8.5,” he smiled.

He climbed in my car and I drove us back to his place. I opened my hatchback and grabbed a box and a card.

“What’s that?” he asked.

“Shh.”

He unlocked his flat and we headed to his bedroom. I took my usual spot on his bed. He proudly showed me my new bottle of Tums. He was pleased with himself. His chest was puffed out and he stood taller. Then he collapsed on the bed and I pitched his present to him.

Birthdays are a big deal to me. It’s the one day a year that is dedicated to someone in your life whether friend, family member or lover. It’s important to make sure that person knows he/she is cherished. Everyone should have something to unwrap on their birthdays. Not reach your hand into a gift bag, but something to tear open with anticipation as we did when we were children.

Abraham is a city transplant; his family isn’t from here. I know he has a plethora of friends, but I didn’t know how many chances he had on this day to physically unwrap something. Despite us not being together all that long, I wanted to give him that chance. It didn’t have to be much, but it had to be something.

He opened the card first. Buying a card for someone when you are in between stages is ridiculously challenging. I felt like the options were “You’re so old!” or “I love you!” I settled on a card I had seen a year ago that made me laugh, “Happiness is like peeing your pants. Everyone can see it, but only you can feel its warmth.”

He laughed, “You want me to pee my pants?”

He then displayed the card on his desk. He told me only two people that day gave him a card: a co-worker and me. This is why it’s important to take that extra step on birthdays. The things we took for granted as children seem to fall by the wayside as we age.

He sat up on his bed and clutched the box and looked down at it. “You can tell it’s wrapped by a girl,” he said.

“Why’s that?”

“It’s pretty.”

He tried to be gentle with the paper, but I was not stingy with the tape. He apologized when he had to tear at it. He ripped open the cardboard lid. Inside, the box was filled to the brim with Styrofoam peanuts, and because he wasn’t careful, they spilled everywhere. I had bought shampoo of all things the week before and it arrived in this over-sized box stuffed with peanuts. I hadn’t seen a packing job like that in years.

He peered in the box and couldn’t see anything. “I’m scared,” he whimpered as he blindly dug his hand in the box with more peanuts spilling out. He touched the plastic bag containing his present. “It feels weird!”

He pulled out the ziplock bag. By now half of the peanuts were on his bed and floor. Inside the bag was a t-shirt. That’s his shtick: funny t-shirts. I had got him this one. It wasn’t much, but it was him.

"I'm going to wear it to the bar next week."

He set everything aside, and he looked at me. He laid back on the bed and pulled me on top of him until I was straddling him. He grinned mischievously. He’s such a happy drunk.

“Did you have a good birthday?”

“Mmm hmm.” He fingered the silk sash on my dress. He slowly pulled on the end, untying the bow.

“Was it better than 34?”

“Mmm hmm.” He pulled the sash off me and draped it around his neck. Then he pulled me toward him until I was laying across his chest. I kissed him.

“Then I guess there’s only one more thing left to unwrap.”

“Mmm hmm.”

16 comments:

The Singleship said...

Your comment on my latest post has me LOL'ing all over the place (and the answer is, I have yet to puke at Josh's place, but given my track record it will happen if we continue to hang out).

Very thoughtful of you to get him a gift- it's so hard in the beginning when you want to do something nice for them but don't want to come on too strong. I think your gift choice was perfect!

Je m'appelle Danielle said...

That is the ideal gift in an inbetween stage. I agree that everyone should have something to unwrap for their birthday, and a card. People don't give cards anymore.

crazytownusa said...

The dichotomy of the [best] shirt [ever] (I wish Hubs had a freaking sense of humor) and the sentiment of the card is not lost on me despite my lack of sleep!

He's your lobster. Please tell me you are not too young for a 'Friends' reference. Xo

Sarah said...

Oh, I know my "Friends!"

freckledk said...

I'm beaming oh so brightly for you, all the way from DC. Squint and you may be able to see it.

Sigh. I'm liking this one, Sarah.

Bathwater said...

Sounds like a perfect birthday to me!

bonda84 said...

I'm with you, I try to make birthdays special, even if it's in a small way. I think it meant a lot to him that you did those things for him. I'm glad that things are going so well for you two, he still sounds like a great man (note the usage of the word "man" and not "boy").

Sophie (MissPickle109) said...

Abraham is very lucky to have you, you always sound like a fab friend/girlfriend!

Sophie said...

Oh and yep, I agree. He's your lobster :o)

Sarah said...

It is way too early for lobster talk!

Besides, lobsters aren't kosher. LOL

Anonymous said...

"Everyone should have something to unwrap on their birthdays. Not reach your hand into a gift bag..."

I love this. I always felt gift bags were kinda impersonal. It's so much more fun to tear into something than reach through some tissue and pull it out. Plus it shows the person took more than five seconds to throw it in a bag.

And I am loving how your relationship is developing. You have built a strong base and I hope it continues to blossom into something beautiful for you.

Tiffany said...

I love your blog. No lie, I just live vicariously through your stories. Loving this Abraham relationship! :)


~Tiffany
http://tiffanyd22.blogspot.com

Erin said...

Cute!

Megan said...

Love!

Dawn said...

I love this post!

For my husband's 40th birthday at the end of December, I've bought 40 presents. I had absolutely NO desire to wrap each one, but I didn't want him to see everything right away either.

So, I sucked it up and bought a shitload of wrapping paper, and one day before the end of December, I'll suck it up some more and get down to the business of wrapping them all.

I agree -- there's nothing better than tearing the paper off to get to the goodies. And it would totally ruin the 40 presents if they were just left in a heap in the living room, all naked.

Tex In The City said...

Aww!

 

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