It's still my birthday.
Every time, I think I'll wake up and it'll be over.
The first time was the worst.
I hardly said a word to my buddies until I said yes to a taxi home.
Time drags on. It doesn't matter what I say or do.
"It's not my birthday," I say. I yell. I scream.
They don't remember the details. someone or something is neatly snipping that intel out of their memories.
they just remember I disappointed them somehow. They remember the hurt.
I've tried quitting. Only makes it worse. My wife surprises me with a party at home.
I've tried moving. The new house continues to fill up with gifts I cannot return fast enough.
My bank account swells with gift card refunds and returns of gifts I've been given a hundred tmes over.
My friends and family continue to have their accounts depleted by their spending.
"Stop celebrating my birthday," I say, I yell, I scream.
They don't remember the details, just the hurt.
I take my family on vacation. *It's my birthday on the plane, it's my birthday at the hotel.
Every day is my birthday.
My family and friends declare bankrupcy one by one.
We move to New York. I rent a storage locker and buy a street vendor's license.
It's still my birthday.
Every fucking day.
Only now it's random strangers, visiting foreign nationals and once, the president of the united states of america bringing me presents.
I accept them graciously. I smile. I embrace the suck.
"How much for that flatscreen TV?" says a customer.
"I dunno, how much you want to pay?"
He gives me a number, I always take the first offer. It's about volume. If he doesn't get away fast enough he's liable to turn around and give it right back to me as a present.
My wife, my friends, my family, everyone who has ever touched my life has been financially harmed by their association with me. All I can do is keep the cash circulating.
By my rough calculations, my problem is getting worse. I've stopped trying to run from it. Unless I die, I've tried and something always goes wrong, the knife slips, improbably, my fall is arrested. I appear unable to harm myself or cause myself to come to harm.
Someday soon, the wealth of the world will be passing through me.
There is nothing I can do to stop it. There is no way I can benefit either. My wife, my friends, my family, they all have friends and family too. Everyone who gifts me knows someone I know. Sucked into the whirlwind, spending themselves on me into bankrupcy.
Every day at noon. I run to the post office and mail off money orders. I donate to charities, I TRY to give it all back. I threw the cash into the air once but it only caused a riot.
One morning, the I.R.S. picked me up for money laundering.
They dropped me off an hour later with a sizeable tax return.
I didn't bother asking for an explanation. I would have gotten some mumbo-jumbo about an auditing error in my favour.
Their eyes were glassy with contented adoration. I was an old friend now, a constant companion, someone they'd been through childhood with and fought beside.
I don't even remeber my own name.
Today is my birthday, but you know that old buddy.
Is there something you wanted to give me?