I will turn 46 years old on the 21st of June, and memories of The Old Port and turning *21 on the 21st* are currently running loops in my head. One of my roommates at the time bought me gift: a drink called a Mind Eraser, and it went so far downhill from there I called in sick for two days. Really; kids, do not try this at home.

I try not to drink like that anymore. But never say never.

I’m giving myself a gift this year. It has nothing to do with vodka or coffee liqueur, or ruining any clothing, the interior of a cab, ahem, a carpet or my pride. I just thank my lucky stars handheld connections to the internet did not exist.

My gift to myself this year is this: letting my hair go gray. Embracing what is.

And what is, I suppose, if I overthink it: clear indication I’m that much closer to the finish line of life, but it honestly doesn’t feel that way. It feels more like dropping a lead coat from my shoulders and shaking free. Moving lightly. Freedom. It’s gray hair for god’s sake. It’s not crippling degenerative disease. For whatever reason, I was mostly gray at 35, and that’s just the way of things. I’ve fought it long enough.

Here’s my new haircut and my new gray hair, free of any and all color. It’s reeeaallllly short, but hey, it’s summer.

I have no plans to color my hair ever again. But never say never.

It’s 76 degrees, and I’m bundled up because I have a fever. That’s a delirious smile right there.