You remember this clip from Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, right?
The answer to life, the universe and everything is 42.
Well, being that it's the beginning of my 42nd trip around our star, along with the incredible epiphany I had in the car on the way back from my cancelled Global Leadership class, the clip seemed an appropriate way to start the post.
I'm beginning to think Douglas Adams was right. 42, only a few hours into it, seems to hold a lot of answers already.
You do realize it's a multiple of seven, right?
Well today, oddly enough, I'm in the exact same spot I was in 14 years ago, exactly to the day.
It's also the reason why my Spago tradition exists in the first place.
At 28, I discovered my boyfriend at the time making out with another girl on my birthday. Because of the young man I was seeing at the time, I lost my place to live. At that moment, the only place I had to go to collect my thoughts was Spago. David, the bartender at the time, at hearing my story, poured me a glass of champagne. A few moments later, a Creme Brulee showed up with a sparkler in it.
I've celebrated my birthday like that every single year since outside of three years in Montreal and sad to say, this year.
At 42, Ace kicked off my day by yelling at me, then when I finally had reached my zenith for his ignorant, tantrum-throwing demeanor, and after seven months of living together in which I watched some of the most horrifying behavior I have ever witnessed, I gave as good as I got and went toe to toe with him, even when he got into my face in a physically threatening posture. When he finally realized I wasn't going to back down and acquiesce as usual (which let him get away with his atrocious behavior), he threw me out.
So, I've lost my place to live again, which is the second time it has happened due to Ace's presence in my life.
Remember when I wrote "The Sophomore and the Precipice?" I never knew how accurate my insight was when I wrote "And that's followed by the sound a death wail from a person that just fell off a cliff and plummeted to their death."
When I began dating Ace, the cliff I fell off of is accurately pictured as one the size of Yosemite Falls:
I don't know of a single human being that could survive a fall from that, so I'm very grateful he tossed me out before I landed with a deafening thud. While you may think I'm strange in saying that, consider this: in doing so he did me a favor that his limited, almost non-existent awareness will never be able to comprehend: He gave me my life back. Which in a sick, twisted way is the best gift anyone could ever give me.
In total, looking at the really big picture, the punchline that follows this experience is rather funny if you think about it because Ace trumped his own Ace and inadvertently made my day by ruining it. But, as my friend Tara would remind me...I'll always be grateful to him; he taught me the virtue of chastity: showing me all of the reasons why we all have to make sure to keep toxic substances out of our bodies. He was a walking example of Marcus Aurelius' lesson that asks 'if we abuse ourselves and show ourselves disrespect, how can we demand respect from others?' He was an actual, physical, tangible, walking example of not only the frailties of humanity but the flaws that are present in each of our psyches, and it taught me tons. Most of all, he taught me how I didn't want to be. I'm very grateful for it because at least I already know I can spell correctly without the aid of spellchecker or the overwhelming need to throw things.
I promised myself long ago that if I survived my relationship with Ace and his deplorable criminal lifestyle, I was going to become a 'non-practicing lesbian'. Lord knows, if I date ever again it will be too soon and I'll need to have my head examined if I do; after my marriage to the ex, then that, that thing, (animal at best) called Ace, it has turned me off of men completely and off the romantic notions of love in general. As far as I'm concerned they are superfluous and not worth my time. We all know of people who left a 'social' life and became huge successes. But just to be generous, I'm going to make sure that I send him a copy of Time Magazine when I make the cover. Consider me a future 'crazy cat lady' as I'm not going to be volunteering for the company of men anytime soon, and from my perspective that means I'll be single for the rest of my life if I can help it.
When I die, in my casket before I'm cremated, I want Teddy tucked under my right arm and have the Myst Reader opened to page 818 in my left hand. If someone will do that for me, I'll be thrilled because Teddy and I have been together now for 37 years. He's the only guy I know that I'm willing to spend extended periods of time with as he understands my need for silence. And at least he doesn't slam doors, throw things, rearrange things incessantly in a vain effort to gain control over a life that he has clearly no control over, not to mention neglect or being unable to complete anything because he incessantly derails himself every time he goes into an estrogen-filled rage because someone could possibly be smarter than he is.
Among the things I've accrued while under the influence of Ace is a weighted blanket so I can feel held and a 'stunt double' who will fill in without hesitation, just as long as it has fresh batteries. As far as I'm concerned, who needs a man in their lives when there are perfectly acceptable low-drama substitutes?
My birthday may have started horribly and I have no idea where I'll sleep tomorrow night, but at least I can say with a smile that 42 is the answer to life, the universe and everything. It has taught me that while I might not live in a million dollar house, I know I'm worth more than a dime.