I know, I know, I said I’d re-open in September with guest posts… but when someone who’s already been a guest here, and is following this blog and has a new book out (which unfortunately I didn’t have time to read yet, but since the new review policy is on… well, Rohan, this is all you’ll get from me now! :D) and a blog tour, well… how can I turn him down? Please, ladies and gents, welcome back Rohan Healy!
The Greatest Day of my Life Turning 18!
by Rohan Healy
We all have those days. Those special days. Those days that you will always remember for the right reasons. Those perfect days. My most perfect day was the 13th of October 2004. It was my 18th birthday. My folks surprised me that morning with a digital camera! This was long before every phone had a multiple mega pixel camera built in and I was delighted. I began snapping right away. After breakfast it was time to shower before my big engagement. I had booked myself in to be tattooed. The tattoo was to be a hand holding a quill. It was to represent my song writing and writing in general. I wanted it to cover my left pectoral muscle.
Sitting in the waiting room of the tattoo parlour was the most anxious I’d ever been. My nerves vibrated in time with the incessant buzzing of the needle as the artist worked on another client. I just felt like running as fast and as far as my legs would carry me! I stumbled outside and rolled a cigarette. I smoked it nervously beneath the beating Australian sun. Then I was summoned. “You’ve picked a pretty painful spot mate” the tattoo artist murmured as he prepared his tools. “Oh really?” I managed to mutter back through dry lips. “Yeah the chest really hurts, and the collarbone too.” I was about to faint when he placed the template on my chest. “How’s this?” I checked it out in the mirror, it looked great!
And so it began. Two hours later it was over. I sat up weakly, covered in sweat, drugged to the eyeballs with dopamine; nature’s merciful painkiller. It looked awesome, but beyond that I was proud of myself for seeing it through. My dad picked me up and took me home. I sat around with my parents and brothers telling them all about it. I didn’t realise it then but 8 years later those are the moments I miss, that I cherish. Our big old beautiful house in Lismore New South Wales, our three acres of land, our fruit trees, the practice room we built for gig rehearsals, the above ground swimming pool, playing music around the kitchen table as a family. Life was easy, pleasant, simple.
Soon enough it was time to get ready for dinner at my favourite Chinese restaurant. I removed the bandage protecting my tattoo, took a very careful shower, and applied the cream the artist gave to me to protect the tat. I put on my nice baby blue shirt, pulled up my nice baby blue trousers, tied up my jack boots and we headed off. At the restaurant I and my family were met by two of my friends who had brought two bottles of wine. The food wasn’t bad at all, but the reason I loved this place so much was because of the beautiful Chinese waitress. I had a major crush on her, and although she was polite and nice to me, I had no idea if that was professional courtesy or genuine affection. We laughed, we ate and we drank. Easy, pleasant, simple.
As we prepared to leave, the pretty waitress approached me. She handed me something and smiled. “For your birthday”. It was a birthday card, at the bottom of which was written her phone number. My heart skipped. I must have mentioned my birthday the last time I was there. And she remembered! “Wow, thank you!” I grinned. We posed for a photo together with the new camera and I left with my friends and family. 6 years my senior, she would go on to share with me moments that remain some of my fondest and most important.
Back at home the second bottle of wine was opened and I began smoking the cigar that someone had bought for me. I savoured the decadence of it all. The Nintendo 64 was switched on for a game of Worms Armageddon, a favourite of mine, my brothers and our friends. We took turns blasting each other’s worms into oblivion on the TV screen, laughing at their antics and spilling white wine on my crotch. I didn’t care one bit. Nothing mattered that night.
I had made it to adulthood. I had drunk my first wine and smoke my first cigar as a “man”. I had gotten “inked”. The object of my affection not only remembered my birthday, but offered her number. And most important of all I spent a wonderful day with my closest friends and family. Whenever I need reminding that life can be a warm, beautiful, funny, joyous thing, I simply need remember the 13th of October 2004.
Thanks for reading, all the best.
So cool to hear from someone who knows what he wants on his body! I’ve also considered a tattoo – a unicorn – but I can’t decide the where, LOL! Thank you, Rohan, for sharing your greatest birthday. I wish I could remember any of mine. I know I had a Big Party with Evening Dress for my 18, but since it was postponed to October, I don’t really count it as a birthday (which unfortunately is in August, so I rarely celebrate it). Oh, yes, last year I managed to make my birthday 6 hours longer by traveling to New York on that day!
Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! And don’t forget to check Rohan’s latest non-fiction book!