The last time I actually celebrated a birthday was when I turned 36, back in 1996, 14 years ago. I was drunk, as always. My buddies took me to Jumbo’s Clown Room, the skankiest of all Hollywood strip clubs, where Courtney Love got her start in show biz long before she hooked up with Curt Cobain. I’d never been there before. My birthday cake was a Hostess Twinkie from the liquor store next door. The strippers sang happy birthday. I ended up dating one of them for a while – the only one who didn’t make a point of telling me she was clean. (If a person insists on telling you they are clean within 5 minutes of meeting you, it’s because they are not clean. In fact, they are probably jonesing hard. Michelle didn’t insist she was clean…and she wasn’t).
This year I turned 50. An unusually brisk April morning, and an 8½ mile run through Griffith Park. It was particularly beautiful.
It’s a long ways from those strung out days at Jumbo’s Clown Room.