Years and years from now --- long after I've retired from the party scene and all that's left of my hair are a few strands of grey --- I shall look back at my youth and remember the two weeks that had just passed with much fondness. It will be written in my personal chronicles as a milestone that culminated with a sudden debilitation of my immune system brought about by extreme physical fatigue and emotional exhaustion from too much fun, too much tears, too much physical activity, too much partying, too much drinking, too little sleep, too little eating. In other words, from trying too much to live la vida rockstar.
Because of the enormity of the energy I had to put in, in order to secure the life I was to start building outside the castle, there was virtually none left for my own birthday. It was gonna be the first time for me to not plan anything fabulous (or at least blog-worthy) for "big day". And there wasn't even enough energy left to feel bad about it. Nonetheless, I knew that whatever happened, there was no way I was gonna miss reflecting on my life and re-examining my values. That was one tradition I couldn't afford to break, no matter how difficult the circumstances got. With that to look forward to, I knew my birthday would be worthwhile, in spite of.
The eve of my birthday, I was invited to a dinner which would be hosted by a friend of a friend. There were only 6 of us (2 more came by after dinner and joined us for drinks) and I knew everyone except for the host. At midnight, they sang me a Happy Birthday song and a good friend whom I hadn't seen for so long, Corrine, popped the Veuve Clicquot Rose that Steve brought. Later that night, Steve remarked, "Friend, it is your birthday." And it was. An evening with friends, good food, champagne, strawberries, and a surprise visit from a dearly beloved friend whom I have missed so dearly. What more could I ask for?
The following day, September 21st, was of course, just as exhilarating. I woke up to a full SMS inbox of birthday messages on my mobile phone. And as if that wasn't enough to start my Sunday brightly, I logged on to my online accounts which revealed even more touching greetings. Then there was the community singing of the birthday song at work, and the heart-warming happy-birthday-hug from 2 people whom I knew didn't like me that much. By mid-afternoon, a lengthy sms-exchange with two of my exes took place. One of them commented, "We may not have worked as a couple, but that doesn't change the fact that you are a good person, Rye. You are a bitch, but you are a good person. That's why you are loved by many." In the evening, I went to FINDS where I was treated to on-the-house glasses of Moët et Chandon courtesy of Pink Taskmaster James. I was joined by Dan, Enan & Steve, who were still tired from the previous night but were loving enough to show up in their cargos and flipflops to spend my birthday with me, and my sai lo, Heihei, who missed dinner with family and traveled all the way from Sheung Shui to give his birthday present --- a white Starbucks mug.
"The Pink Taskmaster with the aforementioned fabulous birthday gal,
both looking shockingly sober"
September 22 was the day the HK Government gave me its present. Still dressed in the floral shirt I wore to FINDS the previous night, I walked in to the IRD Building to settle my tax. After less than 15 minutes, I finished the whole process, which comprised of getting on the elevator 6 times in order to do business in 4 different floors with 5 different civil servants, and going for the loo twice. 15 minutes. That's all it took. The best part: I left the building with a cheque for tax refund.
Later that night, I went over to Victor & Vincent's, two of my favorite straight boys, for a couple of drinks. They tried to throw me a small surprise party for two nights, but because I was scared to sit still and get bored on my birthday weekend, it had been difficult to get a hold of me. SO when I finally showed up, the bottles of Chardonnay that Victor bought for me and the pasta that they made were already extinct.
....Part 2 coming up