Tomorrow I turn 26, and tonight I used my first wrinkle cream. It smells like old woman, and I felt a bit sad as I smeared its pinkness on my face and neck (musn't forget the neck!). 26 has been a significant age in my mind for years. It was the age by which I expected myself to have accomplished a whole range of things, and most of them are still far beyond my reach. So I don't anticipate tomorrow being a particularly special day. I will spend it working for 9 hours with people I barely know, and then I will come home to my empty apartment and have a half pint of Ben & Jerry's frozen yogurt as my cake. I will listen to nice voicemails from my parents and my Grandpa and Grandma which will make me teary, and I will feel like I need the wrinkle cream.
But last year I had a nearly perfect birthday. In fact, it may actually have been completely perfect. I was camping with Gym, April and Hosea in Big Sur. In the middle of the night, I got out of the tent to go to the bathroom and looked up through the Redwoods at the sky. It was filled with more stars then I thought existed. I woke Gym up and made him come out and look at them with me. It was one of the fullest moments of my life. That was how I turned 25. So I will gladly take this lonely birthday as the price for having been given that one.