It was my birthday and not too hot and we made it to Bear Mountain. I played Bear Mountain Picnic Massacre Blues in the car three or more times and hoped for a better outcome.
I got shoved down ’n’ pushed around
All I could hear there was a screamin’ sound
Don’t remember one thing more
Just remember wakin’ up on a little shore
Head busted, stomach cracked
Feet splintered, I was bald,
Quite lucky to be alive though
The kids’ birthdays are magical days. I’m not sure I’ve felt that way about my own birthday in a long time. But being outside with the family, in the city folk and cicada-saturated woods was almost as good as my dream birthday (beach to myself, low 80s, big fat Victorian novel, roast beef and mayo sandwich) I didn’t feel sorry for my aging self at all while I watched the kids scramble over rocks and marvel at the view. “Mountains!” Old mountains, soft and rumpled mountains, but mountains. The 17-year cicadas were already gone from the my parents’ and brothers’ yards in NJ, but they were still singing at Bear Mountain.
He’ll be 22 the next time these come around.
My crab self (half crab, half twin, Cusp of Magic, it’s true) started off a little mopey about not being in a more secluded place, or maybe not being able to find the most perfectest path. But I also ended the day feeling quite lucky to be alive.