On Friday I turned 35- my Mom took some joy in telling me that I am officially middle-aged now. She laughed, not in the normal teasing manner that someone does when you pass American society’s age of relevance- 23.  She chuckled as if to say,  "Can you believe this shit? It really is something."

Usually my birthday is a big to do.  But for the last couple of years I’ve laid a little low.  And leading into this year, I really didn’t want to do anything.  I’d booked a Synthetic Division show at a fetish night in DC called Bound, and as it neared I regretted the advanced planning that happened to fall on my birthday.  In all honesty, I think I’ve been depressed for about three weeks, but figure the internet has enough pissing and moaning without me piling on.

The last time I played Bound was in the summer of 2007, a month before my last CD, Get With the Programs, came out.  As Friday’s birthday show neared, I quietly wished I’d had no plans, but felt better when I tried on my white suit- which I hadn’t worn on stage since the last time at Bound three years ago.  When I fit into the white pants, my mood improved.

Middle-aged, indeed.
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Before heading to DC, Gwenn and I met our friend Lauren at Calvino Cafe for coffee.  I was greeted by the owner, Katie, who handed me a gift certificate from Josh, one of my best buddies who’d joined me for the Synthetic Division tour in May.  Not only that, when I woke up I had dozens and dozens of birthday well-wishes on Facebook, text messages and email, one of which included a weekend’s worth of iced mocha sponsorships- thanks Scott Kramer!  As I was sipping my mocha, Katie and her daughter, Arianna, approached with a piece of cake with a candle in it, and all my coffee mates sang “Happy Birthday” as I blushed.

It was great.

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At the show, me, Gwenn, Marshall and his girlfriend Anne K gave out over 200 One condoms.  And we had a really good show.  After our set, a very nice woman was talking with Gwenn at the merch table, and she saw the one copy of My Pet Virus I’d brought.  She turned to me, then to Gwenn, and asked, “Is that him?”  She’d read the book a few years ago, and told me how much she loved it and how she could relate to the medical aspects because she has Crohn’s Disease.  “Well, it’s not the same,” she started, and I said, “Feeling bad is feeling bad, no matter what name they put on it.”

When she bought a messenger bag and asked me to sign it I wrote, “To a fellow survivor”... she smiled brightly, gave me a big thumb’s up and a hug, and then went on her way. 

wawabday.jpgOn the way home at 2 am from DC, Gwenn and I stopped into the same Wawa we always do when we are traveling to or from the capitol.  There was a Happy Birthday display set up, and I couldn’t resist cheesing out in front of it.  My birthday ended up being a day and a night that I desperately needed... and the rest of the weekend was much of the same. If this beginning is what middle-aged is, then..

Bring.

It.

On.

Positively Yours,

Shawn

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