Version 3.5

Last month, I turned 35. I celebrated my birthday in Seattle, a long way away from my home here in Atlanta. I had planned it that way, of course: a trip to the Emerald City, the home of my favorite bands from my childhood in a city I can’t afford to live in.

Overview of the city.

About a week before my birthday, I had a physical. I don’t recommend getting a physical anywhere near your birthday, not if you want to avoid feeling old and inadequate. The nurse put that clippy thing on my finger, checked her laptop, and asked me, “Are you ok?”

I said, “Sure, I’m fine.”

“Are you sure? You’re pulse is high.”

Of course, that only made my pulse higher. “I’m…fine? I think?”

“Yeah. We’re going to check on that.”

The next thing I knew, she was wheeling in an EKG machine into the room. “Do you have wire in your bra?” she wondered. “Because if you do, you’re going to have to take it off. And put on this smock. It ties in the front. But leave it open. You’re going to be exposed, but…”

Great. Thank you. That’s exactly how I wanted to spend my morning: topless in front of a stranger.

So there I am, laying on the table with my titties out, staring at the ceiling while my nurse applies the contacts to my chest. At some point, she checks my chart and gasps – “Someone has a birthday coming up!”

Haha. Fuck off.

(I was fine, by the way.)

I’m an author, publisher, and podcaster. My books are Icarus and A Bitter Spring. I co-host the Pop Medieval podcast with my friend, Dr. Richard Scott Nokes. I am the co-founder of Witan Publishing, an academic publishing company.