We celebrated Gene's 48th birthday Friday. He figures he's probably more than halfway through the maze. His beard, reddish-blonde, is beginning to display tufts of dignified gray. He still asked for the Superman VS The Silver Surfer comic book for his present, though for his Christmas stocking stuffer this year he's asked for a small book of poetry, nothing too modern, something by someone well respected, established. I'm thinking about that. He and Jojo baked his favorite Texas cake together. They found the recipe in his mom's old recipe boxes. Jojo and I both volunteered to make it, but he wanted to partake in the creation, bring his mom's presence into our kitchen with his own hands. It's probably best that way. And it turned out very good. Hopefully his mom didn't look at the mess while she was there.
November is always a little weird around here. Maybe it's the change of the seasons. I don't know. We've buried a lot of friends and relatives in November. One year on Gene's birthday he was picking out his mom's casket. We both agreed it was definitely better to be making cake than picking out coffins on your birthday. This year we lost no one, but still we had to buy a ten-pack of sympathy cards at Barnes & Noble for all our friends who have lost relatives, and there was a memorial service to sit through. There's just something about November. I get worn out with the dying. I'll be glad when it's through.
On a happier note, I'm all but finished with my reading for this semester. I finished Anil's Ghost last night and was glad I chose it. I took copious notes and I think I'll write the 10-page paper on identity theory, which I'm going to have to do some research on. I loved Anil's character and her insistence on choosing her own identity, even going so far as to reject the names she was given by her parents and bartering with her brother to buy his middle name, Anil. At 12 years old, "She gave her brother one hundred saved rupees, a pen set he had been eyeing for some time, a tin of fifty Gold Leaf cigarettes she had found, and a sexual favor he had demanded..." The author is very diligent about supporting the character's choice. We never learn her previous given names. The book is, of course, about much more than that. It's also about erasing people or destroying them so completely they might as well be erased. It's about seeing and grappling with truth, "truth is just an opinion." I could go on and on, but I should probably focus my energies on the paper. Certainly December will be coming and we'll be moving on to better things.