Lipman turns 29 today. Last night he came home and said, "Ba-abe. I was walking down the hallway [at the school that he teaches in] and this obnoxious girl came up to me and asked me if I went to school there."
"What'd you say?"
"I said I taught music. And she kind of scoffed and said, 'Uh- no offense.. but you look like you're in the 10th grade.'"
"10th grade? I would have said 11th."
"Either way, I took it as a compliment because it was obvious that she totally wanted my man rod. I think it's the facial hair. Young chicks dig the facial hair."
That's my boy. 29 and still thinking him, his man rod and his facial hair are the main reason why 15-year-old girls talk to him.
Lying in bed, he confessed that he was frightened about being 29. "I don't have a plan. I don't know what I'm doing with my life. I'm unsure about everything. I'm closer to dying. What the fuck have I been doing in those 29 years? I should be a rock star by now. I should have an album and a band. Instead I'm being mistaken for being in the 10th grade.... I didn't picture 29 being like this at all."
I was silent. I didn't know what to say. Suddenly, I felt almost as unsure and as unstable as he did. I'm 24. I have a couple of ideas on what else I'd like to be doing, but I'm being completely unproductive with them. And when was the last time a 15-year-old hit on me?
"Can I put my head on your shoulder, Bunty? Please? As an early birthday present?"
"Sure, babe. Come'ere."
And lying there in the dark, his head on my shoulder, I told him that he shouldn't be scared, that he should be excited. Birthdays are anniversaries of being born.. are milestones for what you have achieved and what's ahead. At the moment, I felt like I was saying it to soothe him. Now that I think about it, I think it was a way to actually calm myself as well.
"You're the only thing that feels right to me. Having you as my gal is the only thing that I can be certain about."
"Ah. You're so sweet. I wuv u 2."
And then everything felt all right. I snuggled up to him and whispered in his ear, "What do you want for your birthday, Birthday boy?"
Without missing a beat Lipman said:
Ah yes. That's my boy.
He's getting a sweater.