So Friday’s my birth­day; I’ll be 39. That doesn’t mat­ter. What mat­ters is silly, fool­ish, egotistical.

When I was work­ing at HOTS, no one remem­bered the day, though I signed oth­ers’ cards. Year after year I was for­got­ten. It got to be a run­ning joke. “What … we for­got again?” “…Yeah.”

Got some recalls here and there, like in Milwaukee. That was nice too. Then here, and the local rag, whereat I was slav­ing away doing com­pos­ing*, man­aged to for­get again.

So today my phone rings; it’s an Admin type, ask­ing me for some advice on “a thing” they’re work­ing on, and could I come over and offer my input?

Well, I had a hunch, but golly, it was nice.

I don’t mean to be bit­ter some­times, and I really don’t like to be ungrate­ful. But damn, it was sweet to have all those peo­ple there doing their best to embar­rass the shit out of me for a few seconds.

I like doing what I do, and I like work­ing where I work.

I think that’s enough of a thanks­giv­ing remem­brance for anyone.

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* I must have signed at least a dozen birth­day cards for oth­ers in the six months I worked there, while I placed ads I didn’t make into pages I’d blocked for them the day before. Composing a news­pa­per is intern-​​level work, and in the six months I was there, I never rose beyond it, expe­ri­ence notwith­stand­ing. Now, of course, I build the ads some­one else places in the com­posed slots. Sometimes it’s a good idea to pay atten­tion to the peo­ple whom you think you manage.

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