In any sane, stable universe, today would have, should have, been cancelled. The morning’s initial indications that, after Tuesday’s debilitating gout flare nonetheless not preventing Wednesday’s usual breakfast out in the neighborhood, nor preventing Thursday’s birthweek trip to Byways Cafe deeper into town, Friday’s plan to attempt a birthday trip to the Oregon Zoo perhaps was doable after all. But of course, you can’t tempt fate. By the time the day’s seeming failure to capture any usable photos with the new lens was beginning to sink in, I’d managed to slip on a band of rain-slick cement at the zoo and came down hard directly on the gout-stricken toe. Limping up the path out and to transit in the rain, I managed to make my bus but only then to promptly get stuck waiting for a passing freight train, just as the inevitable daily fatigue dropped like a hammer onto my already-deeply-descended mood. In this very moment I’m still trying to prevent that conspiracy of body and mind from causing me to vomit. So ends the day marking my fiftieth year, in both painful bang and pathetic whimper.