In two weeks time today, 2 February at 1100GMT, I will be sixty years old.
24 days after that, it will have been 4 years since I caught the Covid infection which reduced me to a chronically ill mess, housebound both because of lack of spoons to go anywhere and a genuine existential terror that I’ll catch it again in the wild and things will get even worse.
So, how exactly can I celebrate what should be a major turning point in my life?
As you no doubt noticed, I was born on Groundhog Day. We adore that film. Once upon a time, I thought I might be spending this date in Pawxatauny, as I missed the chance on my 50th… but that’s not happening, obviously. (And, to be blunt, the odds of me making it another ten years and/or the Covid mess being fixed enough for immunocompromised people to be safe in public are slim.)
Thinking about this, I noticed I’d recently done a small run of Groundhog Day inspired films…
I found the Happy Death Day series enchanting and funny as well as proper horror. I followed this with one of the Black-made SF films that protest against the mass murder of people of colour by police, Two Distant Strangers.
Both, oddly, start with a walk of shame from bed scene!
However, the deep seriousness of Two Distant Strangers was a little nudged off-base for me by the unsubtle aerial shot of Joey Bada$$ dying (again) in a blood pool, this time one the exact shape of Africa.
We recently did The Map Of Tiny Perfect Things as a date night movie (warm and delightful, based on a Lev Grossman story).
So, I acquired a bunch to watch in the run-up.
Also seen so far:
ARQ; with the lesser Amiel (bad future, resets jump from one to another so it never ends – which nearly happens in Happy Death Day 1. Not bad at all.)
And Then Came Lola is Lola Rennt as a very light lesbian San Francisco romcom (they even steal the use of animation for certain scenes!), which made no sense to me in terms of plot motivation: a woman running all around the city in 3 variations to deliver some photo prints to her boss/lover so she can clinch an ad production deal with her hot European ex… all the while fantasising about shagging every single woman she encounters.
Got a couple more tucked away – no, I’m not doing all the TV episodes!!
Here’s the TV Tropes page: don’t get lost in there…
Anyway: thinking about all this brought back yet another wave of loneliness and isolation-related despair.
At this point, my social life outside of post-Twitter is my wife, my cat, the couple of friends locally we trust to take precautions enough to come visit and my online tabletop RPG groups.
I miss seeing people, being with people.
I miss a lot of things.
But this one, some of you could maybe help with.
What I would like for my sixtieth birthday, if any of you feel so inclined, is a little birthday video. Just to see faces and hear voices I sorely miss (and meet new ones from folk I only know from online text media).
If you want to do that, I’d be really grateful… but I would ask you shoot them indoors and not get all your mates round to your house to shoot a big one together without masks, because both of those would just make me even sadder. (If you’re living together anyway, that’s cool of course!)
Contact info for my various socials is in my Linktree: I tend not to use Instagram much, but I will certainly pay attention to it on the day if that’s your preferred medium! https://linktr.ee/catvincent
As for how I’ll deal with the 4 year thing… we shall see, I guess.
Immense thanks to those so inclined; no bad vibes to those who don’t.