Tonight was Fred's birthday. Well, not actually his real birthday, but close enough for those of us who decided to celebrate it tonight. I missed an earlier party for him because shortly before it was starting Studley found it wise to pour dirt over his head. His own head, not Fred's.
Anyway, that's okay because we are the Usual Suspects and we have our own way of doing things.
A group of us has been celebrating birthdays for a few years now. I can't remember if we had kids or not when we started, but I think we must have because for reasons I can't at the moment fathom, they always go with us.
Fortunately it takes a village, as they say, to raise a child. And we're the only ones of this group who have kids, so our kids have a whole table of adults helping out. Yay for friends because I'd be a total nut job by now if I had to pay that much attention all by myself.
As it was, Studley needed some air toward the end of dinner and after walking him around in the oyster shells for an eternity I found my way over to the edge of Duck Creek, which is more of a salt marsh. We found a chair and sat looking out over the water at the buildings on Commercial Street with their lights and their gardens. There's something about sitting in partial darkness, looking in at the lives of others - especially over water. It's so darn twinkly.
And then the mosquitos found me and I figured the bill had come and gone so I took Studley back in.
Because it's his birthday, I though I'd tell a Fred story.
When I worked normal hours like a normal person I had coworkers. One of my coworkers happened to mention that she was partial to the opening credits of Last of the Mohicans, in which Daniel Day Lewis dashes through the woods sporting a loin cloth.
This stuck in my head because it seemed so incongruous. She didn't seem like the loin cloth type.
So when her birthday was on the horizon I thought of the most AV advanced person I know (Fred) and asked a favor. I'm pretty sure it was our whole birthday group who sat in Fred's guestroom and made a video of the opening credits - sliced and diced to create about an hour of running through the woods.
She was very, very pleased.
Almost as pleased as I was when Fred gave me that Harriet Russell book.
Thanks for having a birthday, Fred. Dinner rocked.