A few years back I started counting birthdays differently. I read someplace that by the time we celebrate our first birthday we have already been a year in the world so that we celebrated the end of that birth year not the beginning of it.

Let's see if I can explain that a bit better because as I was writing that I realized there were several ways to argue against it. When we celebrate our first birthday we have been alive for 12 months. This means that we are celebrating the end of our first year and the beginning of our second in terms of experience.

So I began to celebrate it that way. On October 7th I will have been alive for 59 years which means I will be entering my 60th year. For some reason that is a scary thought. Especially since I didn't expect to see the end of my 40th year. That that occurred in 2000 might have had something to do with the worry. Had I not had a change in lifestyle 3 years before that it would have been true.

The Professor came along and quite literally saved me from killing myself. He did not know it but he was to be my last good deed. Then I came home and found this cute funny birthday card from someone I hardly knew. It gave me pause and what followed changed my mind.

It began with a kiss, a challenge to show this younger man what the difference was between 19 and 36. That he tasted sweet was an added bonus.

I remember having an interesting conversation with him either that night or a similar night about philosophy or something like that. It was my first real grown-up conversation  I think. So besides sweet kisses, he was smart. Not as pedantic as he has become in later years but still a lively companion.

We had sex as part of a business deal because I had no other way to pay him, turned out he was pretty good in bed too. Now you would think that would have been enough for me to decide to keep him but I was not convinced yet that we were compatible for the long run. At this point, it was a business deal and when it was done it was done.

Our first date was because someone else had turned him down. We went out for dinner at a four-star restaurant then he took me to see Romeo and Juliet. I've always loved theatre but had never seen anything beyond high school plays. It was a perfect first date.

Then came my birthday and a surprise card on my desk. What else happened that night I am not sure but I knew that I wanted to spend a lot more time with this one. It seems like so long ago but it has only been 22 years. Not bad for something that was supposed to be a good deed.

Why the trip down memory lane? Because I want to thank the professor for sticking with me for so long despite my moving out of his house twice.

Every year though he still got me a card and a cake. It is one of the ways he is so wonderful. This year I can't have the cake so I'm not sure what he is going to do. Diabetes is not my friend!

He is though, he is my best friend! Thank you Professor for so many happy birthdays and I hope we have a whole bunch more!


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