I imagined this morning, while on that beautiful border betwixt sleep and waking, something that woke me up laughing. I just woke up, laughing my head off.
I thought of an idea. The idea that birthdays are not a time for joy and celebration, but a time of hysterical sadness and dread. As in, absolutely everybody in the world hates and despises them, but is forced to celebrate them by some sort of unwritten rule.
Imagine what parties would be like! The sad protagonist is led downstairs in weeping and heaving sobs, by their crying friends, who scream and shriek their apologies with every shaking step. The blindfold is removed, the living room entered. Brightly coloured balloons. A big pink cake. Meticulously wrapped gifts. Music. They look around, face burning with a dented frown. Staring at the balloons and presents (Bearing in mind this is all normal birthday stuff in real life), they try to back out of the room, held back by the friends and family, who again just scream “WE’RE SO SORRY! OH GOD THIS FUCKING HORRIBLE!”, faces red, some are retching. Uncle Ted is being sick in the fireplace, one hand on leg, one on the mantlepiece, just VOMITING hard into the coal.
Someone else attempts to tunnel out uselessly, using a poker, they sit on knees, just frantically digging at the carpet until their fingernails are cracked and bleeding.
Someone else is tying a noose to the ceiling fan. Our protagonist stares at the garish, shimmering foil sign “HAPPY BIRTHDAY FRED!”, written in jocular fonts, surrounded by yellow smiling circular cartoon faces”. They are consumed with a combination of rage and despair, and just stand there, yelling at the absolute top of their lungs.
“OH FUCKING HELL! THIS IS HORRIBLE! OH MY FUCKING GOD!”, then they’re retching with the force of their own tears.
What I’m saying is, don’t take my word for it. It’s just a thought, as I said. This isn’t real, so don’t worry.