As the shit-streak of the fiftieth birthmonth winds down, existential rejection pursues right to the end. How good is the food at John Street Cafe, two blocks from my apartment? Enough that I had to ignore my usual redline of quitting a restaurant because they forgot to serve me. In my twenty years in Portland, I’ve quit three restaurants for that reason; they only get one strike. I had to hobble my way up to the back to confront the John Street staff about it, and then try to avoid having a complete sobbing breakdown back at my table. My fifty-first year is starting out terrific so far, picking up exactly where my fiftieth left off.