Sippican Cottage

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A Man Who Has Nothing In Particular To Recommend Him Discusses All Sorts of Subjects at Random as Though He Knew Everything

You Say It’s Your Birthday

I’m forty eight years old. I don’t care.

I’ve cheated death a few times. I’ve had good fortune, and I’ve been royally screwed. I’ve had money, and I’ve had none. I’ve gone hungry for a little while.

I’ve been simultaneously propositioned by one woman while being assaulted by another– both strangers. I’ve signed a few thousand autographs. I’ve been recognized on the street by passersby, confusing my companion. I’ve gone unrecognized on occasion by my own relatives.

I blinded everyone in my chemistry class in high school. I counterfeited money in shop class for a lark. I was nicknamed “The Phantom” by that chemistry teacher, because I was constantly truant. I was a National Merit Scholar.

I’ve performed dangerous backbreaking labor. I’ve been paid to teach frisbee.

I’ve been a welder in the desert. I’ve had pretty secretaries bring me coffee.

I’ve saved a few people’s lives. I’ve seen a man murdered.

I’ve worked for charities. I’ve committed vandalism. I’ve been robbed a half dozen times. I’ve stolen things.

I’ve been thought a clown. I’ve been considered dreadfully serious.

Half of the employees at my last job called me Mr. Rogers. The other half called me the Prince of Darkness. They were all correct.

I’ve been picked on like a sissy. I’ve knocked a man senseless–that struck me first– with one blow.

I’m very polite. I have a terrifying apoplectic temper.

I’ve worked with people for four years and never said a word about myself, despite the fact I talk all the time.

I made a joke, in a foreign language, in a foreign country, and people laughed. I’ve been booed, loudly, before.

There was a stretch of my life, lasting one third of it, where I was profoundly unhappy all the time. I doubt anyone knew that.

If I could live a thousand years, I wouldn’t change a goddamn thing, if it meant one fewer minute of sitting at a table I made, in a house that I built, across the table from the wife I won, watching the children we made smear their dinner on their faces.

10 Responses

  1. Add to your list of things done:

    ….I’ve entertained people from miles away who don’t even know me.

    Thanks for your entry…they’re always the best.

    Happy Happy Birthday!!

    God’s Blessings from Beaver Dam, WI.

  2. Happy Birthday, Sip:

    I’m quite curious about the thousands of autographs. Care to elucidate??

  3. Thanks for the kind wishes. My wife took me to newport Rhode Island this afternoon and we had a date. That’s a rare and wonderful thing.

    It’s a testament to the power of celebrity, no matter how small it might be, that your interest is piqued by that, and you went right past a murder and all that other stuff.

    Maybe I’ll write about it sometime.

  4. Murder schmurder. I used to do criminal defense work. That stuff interests me not at all.

    But a brush with celebrity? I’m truly a child of the TV age. Tell me more.

    ‘Tis a good thing to date one’s spouse. How are things in Bouvier territory? Best wishes to Mrs. Cottage.

  5. Ruth Anne is the funnay! Murder shmurder indeed. People have wide ranging experiences, don’t they?

    Mrs Cottage and I had a swell time in Bouvier territory. Interesting you called it that. I took some pictures of the magnificent romanesque church where Jack and Jackie were married, but the disc was corrupted and I lost them. I’ll post some others that came out today.

    I used to be, and very occasionally still am, a musician. My wife paid five dollars to meet me. I paid yesterday.

  6. “Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes”

    (It just seemed like a Whitman sort of post.)

    Happy Birthday!

    I’m the most curious about what you were doing in your high school chemistry class!

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