It was a couple of minutes before it happened, but it was enough to realise Speckled Jim was going to be our supper. Charlotte had named him before we realised the chicken politely sat on a log was awaiting Jackson’s axe and then a boiling bath in a pot.
We were throwing a birthday party because I turned 28 yesterday, and as much as I love eating chicken I couldn’t help but cringe at the thought of that poor plucky bird being an ex-plucky bird very soon. Hypocritical, I know, but it made me think about how quickly things can end.
I tend to get morose and philosophical and annoying and emotional around birthdays, and this wasn’t the exception. But I’ll be damned if I don’t make 28 count, if only for the sacrifice of Speckled Jim.
Twenty eight is such a weird number. It’s definitely not mid twenties, but it’s not close enough to 30 to “mean” anything. It’s too old to die young or to join the ranks of Janis and Jim who died at 27. It’s adult enough to be boring, but not old enough to warrant a decadent YOLO party like at 30, 40 or 50. It feels a bit like 23, transient, unimportant, just another hoop to jump through.
Anyway, I have continued my tradition of not spending my birthday in the place where I live. Growing up my birthday coincided with our family holidays and since then I’ve tried to keep that going. Rang in 26 in Puerto Escondido, 27 from a night club in New Delhi and 28 from Buhoma in Uganda. Maybe I’m not doing that bad after all.
I’m living on borrowed time anyway. A doctor told me at 12 that I would spend the rest of my life sitting down and reading, if he could only see me now!!! Onwards twenty eight!! Bring it on!!!! For Speckled Jim!!!!