Happy Birthday to me!


“Aussie, I’m sick and tired of the ads that appear on my phone.”

“What ads?”

“At night I like to play word games on my phone, and in between games appear all these ads: Protect your brain, download this. Or: Keep your brain sharp! Or: Your parents should have played this game! Or: Doctors wish every person over 45 would download this! I’ve had it with all this fear-mongering about dementia and decline, as if any day now I’m going to lose my mind.”

“And why are you playing word games?”

“Because they’re fun, Aussie. Also, good for my mind. The point is, Aussie, age is a big deal everywhere you look. I went to get your dog food and—”

“What did you get?”

“The usual.”


“And what do I find? A dogfood line called Raw Longevity, Auss. Raw, as in raw food—”

“I love raw food!”

“And what about longevity? I mean, who calls dog food Longevity? Tell the truth, Aussie, are you concerned about how long you’ll live?”


“Do you worry about how you look?”

“Of course not, I’ll be 4 tomorrow (Happy birthday to me!) and the cutest thing you ever saw. You, on the other hand—”

“What, Aussie?”

“Well, for one thing, you’re not four. You could dye your hair, you know. You’d be a terrific blonde.”

“I was a blonde once, Auss, and it wasn’t terrific. In my 30s I colored my hair every color under the sun. I even had green hair once, but that was by accident”.

“If you walked me more you’d definitely look better.”

“I went to have coffee with a man I never met, Aussie. He was already waiting when I got out of the car and watched as I walked over towards him, and instantly I could see I wasn’t his type. He didn’t care for my mixture of brown/gray/silver hair, for a body that is no longer lithe—”

“You were never lithe—”

“Or slender or agile—”

“In my lifetime I never saw you slender or agile—”

“You only know me for three years, Auss. And now, it’s not just the ads about mind-saving games but also ads for games to lessen your anxiety. They ask you to move about 100 cubes a minute or find 50 differences between two photos in 30 seconds flat. Just looking at those ads gives me anxiety.”

“You know what I think? I think you’re afraid of not being loved anymore because you’re getting older.”

“That’s very insightful of you, Aussie.”

“You’re afraid that if you lose your mind nobody will care about you.”

“Maybe you’re right. I’ve had a good mind for most of my life. What happens if I misplace it or can’t find it? Like maybe leave it inside the freezer or something like that. Will you love me then, my young Aussie?”

“Yes, but make sure to write down what you give me for breakfast and dinner and when in case you forget.”

“Loss is the price you pay for love, Auss. Somebody once said: ‘Tis a fearful thing to love what death can touch.’”

“Who said that?”

“I don’t remember.”

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