August 2nd, 2005


Happy Birthday, Guyster

On the back of this photo, Billy’s mom wrote Billy’s first snowman with a ballpoint pen. On the other side of his ice sculpture, which you have to look at really closely to see it, stood Bub, fifteen months older, and always a head taller than Billy. Work brought the family to Wyoming for a short period, and by the look on Billy’s face, he was none too happy about it. I don’t know. He could’ve been thrilled, but he was already wearing the face he’d adopt in the thousand pictures I snapped of him, one of Hurry up, already!.


It’s his 43rd birthday today, and we’d both be pretty stressed out at this point. Our clothing and furniture were to arrive today, but the movers are stuck in Oklahoma City. It’s been hard sleeping on the upstairs floor, and by now, we’d be at each other’s throat.

I’d have tried to make the day as special as I could, though, and likely I would have bought him an iPod shuffle to go with his full-scale one he received from me two Christmases ago. He also would open a box with a shirt I picked up at Macy’s, one he might wear once to make me happy, or one that he would’ve truly loved. It was hard to pick out clothes for Billy. He was very particular, and I just never quite knew what would work for him. There would definitely have been a three-pack of socks, each one individually wrapped because it wasn’t necessarily about what the gift was; it was how many gifts there were to open.

I wouldn’t have had much time to shop, so I’d make a handmade card with a gift certificate in it for a long weekend trip on the upcoming Labor Day, destination unknown. He liked surprises, and he would have found himself at Hearst’s castle, a place he always wanted to see. We’d stay at the ridiculously garish Madonna Inn, maybe in the Flintstone room, and he’d have something to look forward to. We both would.