Just A Number
Most people, when told, tell me they've never heard of a beneficially misprinted birthday, resulting in a legal fake I.D. Last Wednesday was my fake birthday. Still in Los Angeles with Mia, she put a dinner table candle in a supermarket cupcake and Malomar took a picture as I, no makeup and greasy hair, blew it out. Plans were made to go to clubs and totally lose my shit in artificial celebration, and occasionally I'd get pangs to birthday-boss people around. I told Malomar to cut her meat with scissors. "I used to do that," she shrugged.
"Why'd you stop?"
Around 4:30 Malomar stopped in the Hollywood Hooters to get a sweatshirt and we wound up staying for a pro-male meal. [They have two more vegetarian items on the menu than Denny's!] She went to the bathroom and was gone for a really long time, which felt extremely short because I passed the time swooning for the waitresses. Our girl Christina, in orange hot pants, sat at our table when she took our order, sweet-voiced and smiling brightly. It really felt like my birthday, but she was so happy to see me that I totally forgot it was my special day until I read a rusty sign on the wall: "No I.D., No Alcohol!"
I had to later call Christina over to nervously ask what Hooters has "on tap." She carded me and held it close to her nose. This is a fairly regular experience because I had always been handing over an I.D. with a picture dissimilar to my actual face [except for the eyebrow color and race], but today she was checking the date. But she's a Hooters waitress so she couldn't tell if it was valid. I leaned forward and whispered, with my hands acting as parenthesis, "It's today."
"Today's your birthday?!" I'm going to say that she was from Atlanta. "How come you didn't say nothin'? I'm tellin'!" That declaration chilled me instantly. It was a slow weekday at Hooters and one of the waitresses had been assigned to hoola-hoop in the doorway. Thankfully, no choreography was done in my honor. We took a picture with Christina while making filthy hand gestures, tipped her $10, and went to Echo Park.
There was a couch blocking a parking spot in the neighborhood. The three cushions had been removed by local drug addicts [homeless or high schoolers] to reveal the change and mostly-eaten burritos of whoever had just asked his girlfriend to move in. We took more pictures. Beside it was a small California map that might have gone down a chimney, so I told Malomar to pick it up. She said no. She would've had to if it was my real birthday.
After 7 Malomar and I went to CVS to buy alcohol because California liquor laws nod to the simultaneous purchase of Pore Perfect strips, US Weekly, and Captain Morgan Tattoo. I took out my I.D. so the cashier could wish me a happy birthday, but instead she muttered, "Well, since you have it out..." and didn't compute the date in her head.
Since then I've been collecting wristbands and giving two-dollar tips. Lez Tyler and I went to Welcome To The Johnson's. The bouncer wished me a happy belated birthday. The bartender with the mullet carded me, too. I had never chatted with him but I think he remembered that he's mixed a lot of drinks for me in the past; he shouted, "Oh! So this is the real one!" He turned to the chick bartender with long black hair and repeated "'86. '86. God, I'm so fucking old." My third vodka tonic was on the house.
The only thing I had ever really wanted to do as a [semi-] legitimate adult was buy beer in The Hub At North. The on-campus eatery, after 8 p.m., became The Pub At North because it sold eight-dollar pints of Coors Light to 21+ students. However, this semester, in timing with my coming of age, The Hub now remains The Hub all night, and beer is no longer sold on campus. Apparently real adults know that bad booze isn't worth that much, and follow the idea that getting loaded with [semi-] legal, sandwich-building immigrants isn't a good time. Well, I'm twenty years old, willing to pay, and think it sounds pretty fucking fun.