Birthday Poems

Diana Dinerman
Apr 23, 2018 · 3 min read

Birthday Poem #1
I drank coffee in bed like a Rockefeller.
I received two packages of sweater bags from Amazon so that I can protect my clothes from the damn moths that are eating through everything.
I decided not to wear to deodorant. Everyone deserves a day off.
I talked to my grandmother who told me that old men are strange. “You think young men are strange, just wait….”
I withdrew a credit card dispute.
A friend sang the black version of Happy Birthday, which is the only version of that funeral dirge I can tolerate.
I bought trash bags.
I answered my email by the harsh light of my unsconced light bulbs, which included a bunch of fire department statistics for a grant I’m writing to supply flammable evidence lockers for arson investigations to a local fire department.
I did not clean anything.
I bought a shirt.
Both of my dentists wished me Happy Birthday in personalized emails. I have two dentists. They don’t know about each other.
I said No to something I did not want to do.
I took a pill I found on the floor. This is something I wanted to do.
I contemplated leaving my side of town for about 10 minutes, but decided not to.
I went to yoga.

The best part of my day was reading all the lovely messages from the people who remembered I’m alive after Facebook reminded them. I’ll take being remembered for any reason, so it’s great. Obviously, my family remembers my birthday because it changed their lives forever. My birth was a rescue mission. When I was in the womb, I gracefully wrapped the umbilical cord around my chest so tightly that I could not breathe. I always thought this foreshadowed my natural athleticism, but now I think I might have been trying to take my leave. “If you don’t take me out, I’ll do it myself!”
There’s a thin line between living and dying.

I knew it from the start.

Birthday Poem #2

I woke up in someone else’s house.

A Malibu condo with no soul.

A 10 year old dog wanting something from me.

A depression holding me back.

I lay in bed for a long time.

I ate things I didn’t have a hunger for.

I answered the phone twice.

I replied to three text messages.

I procrastinated from calling back each of my parents for different reasons.

I cried a little.

I chopped mint and shaved apple.

I showered.

I oiled my body with grapeseed.

I didn’t read.

I flipped my mattress.

I put away the dishes and the laundry.

I looked at my fingernails — too many chips in the polish for being two days old.

I closed the blinds.

I lost a parking pass when it flew out the window.

I spoke on the phone to exactly two people.

I decided that anyone who emails or calls is a keeper.

I talked about Donald Trump.

I defuzzed a sweater.

I got annoyed by the noise. Always annoyed by the noise.

I thought about the man I yelled at yesterday.

I drove back to Malibu.

I didn’t walk the dog.

I looked for Q tips and came up short.

That’s all for this birthday. No surprises, just a low low feeling…the sound of rolling garbage cans around me.

I checked social media for messages not meant for me.

Everything makes me tired. Everything but sitting.

I can sit for hours.

I thought of giving a presentation called Getting Unstuck.

Maybe it’ll work for me.

Diana Dinerman

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