Friday, June 20, 2008

Happy B-day Nick - Shame about the Dame...

Tee Hee.. this is what our black cat Scraggles likes to do most mornings, a rousing game of fetch with her toy mice...

She will keep going like that until you either throw the mouse in some spot where she can't find it - like on top of the refrigerator.

Today is the birthday of my brother Nicholas. He is younger than I...much younger, and he is hitting a milestone decade birthday that falls between 20 and 40. I hit that birthday mark myself so many moons ago that my memory of the celebration that evening is somewhat vague and watercolored.

I do remember that George arranged a wonderful surprise dinner party with about 15 guests at a Spanish restaurant in DC that is now long gone. I can't remember the name of the place, though I remember the location. I remember most, but not all, of the guests that were there. I don't remember what I ate but I do remember the server and the manager walking from guest to guest pouring sweet tasting fortified wine from a leather cask into our mouths as celebratory shots. As the birthday boy, I had the biggest shot and I do remember swallowing several mouthfuls of wine as the crowd cheered me on.

Nick implied to me not too long ago that this particular birthday was making him feel a bit "old". I immediately asked him if he'd like to trade ages, which seemed to change the tone of the conversation a tad. Of course, while feeling older when hitting that particular mark is somewhat expected when you enter it, ultimately it isn't as psyche damaging as it was, say 25 years or so ago. It fact, by today's standards, it is considered downright young, and certainly, I will make no attempt to disagree.

I remember the day that Nick was born with pristine clarity. It was a warm and sunny June 20th, and my older brother David and I were playing Frisbee in the street when my parents left for the hospital. I was 13 and David was 10 days from 15. The year was 1978. I was wearing cut off Levi's with frayed ends and ever so slightly split up the side seams and my hair was parted in the middle and "feathered" back. I had a very wide distressed tan leather belt with large metal riveted punched with a huge oval shaped "rainbow iridescent" Boston belt buckle. I was also wearing a bright, canary yellow t-shirt that was spray painted with the word "Mike" on it in rainbow colored, metalic paint with a font so stylized that would have camouflaged me perfectly against the side of any ultra-popular customized van.

So, now who has the right to feel old? Tee Hee. I can already imagine some of my friends who read this blog (some of whom I met the year Nick was born or shortly thereafter and whom Nick grew up around) also sharing in their own private dismay that Sprouse's "little brother" was turning 30. For after all, if he's that old...what does that make them?!

I hope Nick has a great birthday, though, based upon our conversation from the other day, he may be feeling a bit somber and forlorn for the club where he has been the General Manager and the Main Talent Buyer for several years is closing its doors after this weekend. Tonight, as he informed me, will be the last Friday night at the Dame. There is some chance that the Dame will re-emerge in a new location but nothing is definite.

Feel free to read the article sent to me today by Nick.

If it's any consolation Nick, maybe when your my age 13 years from now, you'll look back on this day with vague watercolored memories as well.


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