Gary Rinsem

Birthday, but not

Written a day late
And several weeks more


I missed Halloween this year. It came and went and I didn't notice for a couple days after. My birthday was yesterday and I hadn't given it a thought for months. It also happened without me.

Birthdays haven't been important to me since I was very young. Two were marred by abuse from my mother and ever since, that's what my birthday has meant to me. Emotional abuse is what flashes through my mind on hearing the word. Been that way almost my entire life.

Two other birthday memories involved cake. She made a German chocolate birthday cake and said it was because it was my brother's favorite. My birthday cake was his favorite? Even young that didn't sit right with me. I refused to eat any, but had lots of ice cream. Another birthday memory I also still remember because of cake. She made coconut cake because my sister didn't like it, but didn't live there any more so it didn't matter. I had ice cream. I love both, German chocolate and coconut, but wouldn't eat them as a silent stubborn protest. I looked at the leftover cakes until they were gone, but didn't eat any even though nobody would have known if I did. Cake issues seemed silly even then, but I was extremely sensitive to anything birthday related as a result of serious abuse on previous birthdays.

My happy birthday memories come from my sister. I also depended on her to come home and save me whenever it got bad. I'd hide someplace where I could watch her coming home. A few minutes later I'd rush in and cling to her for safety.

Where does that leave me on the day after my birthday in 2020? Simple, since 1982 my birthday has been an even sadder day for me. Thirty-seven years ago yesterday, I last saw my second true love. Vicki has been my birthday sadness ever since, but none worse than right now because I forgot her yesterday. Bye...


My birthday was missed a week ago, let's see if I keep from crying over Vicki long enough to finish this.


I deleted several paragraphs above. It turned angry with many uses of the word fuck... over living my life without the four women I dearly love.

There's been no real love in my life since I was 36 years old. That fucking truck driver should have died with BB.

Guess I'm not ready to write about missing remembering Vicki on my birthday. It just becomes an angry self pity party.


Its been 20 days, maybe now I can do this the way I want.

I have numerous days each year where I celebrate, mourn or just miss the women who touched my life. Which of those activities is done always depends on the women that day is dedicated to.

My oldest tradition is each year at 8am on August 19, remembering the shared loss of virginity with a girl I never heard from again. There was no love involved, I don't miss her, I just have happy thoughts about four days knowing her. We agreed to both enjoy a period of silent thought together, at that time every year for the rest of our lives. I have yet to miss a year and I've never doubted she was with me every single year. Still, I'd like to hear from her that its been true since 1972. I couldn't remember her last name in August 1980. I couldn't remember her first name when BB and I met in November 1982. My first ever journal entry was all about her, but I called her Theresa. It's the code name given to several girls. Last summer I found her junior yearbook online. I've searched it several times and can't identify her. She can't be in there. Her name or picture would jump off the computer screen if she was. That was my only chance of finding her.

Next is Chicken In The Park every May 31st at sunset. Tami's birthday is the most important day of the year for me, and has been since 1978. Year to year I don't know until it's over if it'll be happy or sad. Sometimes I seem to focus on happy memories and sometimes sad. I can't control which way it goes and it doesn't matter to me. Either way makes me cry since it's time alone for the last nine years. Bye again...

Hours later now, same day.

Maybe done crying maybe not, but I'm going to put this entry to bed.

I can't write what I want to write about forgetting Vicki on her day, it hurts too much. I'll just say, instead of celebrating our love for one day, Vicki and Tami have both been in my thoughts constantly for the last three weeks. Sometimes they make me happy and sometimes sad. Who the fuck am I kidding. It's all sad. The first was too young, second loss was due to her bad decision, third and fourth were killed by a derelict truck driver. Bye...


Mom called me first when Dad died. The entire family showed up soon after. The next day when I left I went to Los Arcos Mall for a Dad fudge brownie and giant chocolate chip cookie. I sat to eat on the bench that replaced our bench, while remembering everyone who shared that tradition with me over the years. Mostly Tami, BB, Janet and Saundra. However... there were many others who never meant anything to me. The point is, I didn't cry when Dad died. I did a year later laying on my living room carpet with his big dumb furball of a dog, but at the time I just accepted he was gone without a goodbye. Can't continue. Bye now...


It's been a little over 45 years that Tami has been overwhelming my heart. She is the first. Decades ago I figured out a couple things, while trying to get her out. A few people are like me, they have lost love ruling their thoughts. They're the lucky people, eclipsed only by those who still have it. The rest, the vast majority of people, will never know true love. That's who should be holding self pity parties.

With so many varied aspects to life, I'm often taken to thoughts of how odd it is that none but love have ever been of any real importance to me. I'm so very sorry that I forgot you Vicki.

I love you Tami, Vicki, Bev and Bren.

Done. Put to bed. Lori Partridge is on the TV right now, sound muted fortunately. You never know when they'll start abusing musical instruments on that show.