Monday, September 01, 2003

being 34

I was really, really down when I found out a while back that Gregory Hines had died of cancer. There's a scene in "Running Scared" in which Gregory's character, Hughes, is in a bar along with Billy Crystal's character, Costanza. Costanza has just loudly announced to all the patrons that it's Hughes's birthday, and he's 35.

"Thirty-four!" Hughes corrects him repeatedly, to no avail.

I couldn't help thinking about that scene. Feels like that film came out yesterday.

Hats off to you, Gregory.

So now I'm older than Jesus, but didn't get to have my "I Outlived Jesus" party, which my Korean Christian relatives would have frowned on (I ate a mess of Korean short ribs with them, after five hours at temple doing ch'am-seon and listening to what turned out to be an extra-long dharma talk from Hyon Gak sunim). It occurred to me, though, that I can wait: I won't be getting any younger, so technically speaking, an "I Outlived Jesus" party can happen any time between age 34 and, well, DEATH.

Since my circle of closest friends will all be 34 by the end of November, and I'll be home from about post-Thanksgiving to a little past New Year's, maybe we should just fete this as a group. What say you, gentlemen?

I guess you could say I'm in my mid-thirties now. It's official. I'd engage in some public self-assessment, but (1) that's pretty masturbatory, even for a blog, (2) you'd be bored out of your gourd, and (3) I'm just too damn tired right now, since it's around 5 in the AM here in Seoul.

So I leave you with a haiku expressing what it's like, right at this moment, to be 34.

at one with the Tao
life is bountiful, just like
my six testicles


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