“Happy and Existential Birthday” By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

A tall-ish woman with fluffy hair rolled and pinned up behind both ears, who we shall call Hara, was celebrating her birthday, both happy and existential. We call her Hara for her love of half cooked, half raw foods including Thai and Mexican. Early in the month, she began celebrating her birthday, pulling over to garage sales and purchasing miscellaneous treasures including a curling iron, hamburger shaping rings for grilling, a round white with azul painted filigree set of four Elizabethan Coat Hooks, a stack of cook books and bartending manuals. Things were found to make cocktails from the Virgin Islands, and a book of Recipes for a Michigan Christmas.
The Garage Sale prior, Hara found unopened stain removing detergents, a little black velvet purse, and a box of books on writing. She bought the detergent hoping to have special detergents for her Chef’s uniform jacket, color safe bleach for the olive embroidery of her name.
Almost home, she continued down a back street and pulled over to purchase a Puppy Manual, some kitchen utensils, and a brown leather purse with embossed floral detailing and braiding.
A few days later, Hara heard about a Book Sale at the library and rejoiced that for her birthday she would stock her library. At the Book Sale, she filled two large boxes that a library assistant helped her to cart to the back of her car. One box was filled with humanities subjects such as magic, fine paintings, Circus, a book on Korea, a rare book making book, 100 World’s Most Beautiful Paintings, Celebrity Caricature, The Authentic Gilbert and Sullivan Songbook, an Iraqi Cook Book, The Calligraphy Source Book, Gaugin, Varga, Faces Fantasy Make Up, The Bible Portrayed, The Golden Age of Toys, The Nude in Art, and Victorian Portraits.
In the Second box she placed Sociological, Philosophical, Travel and Religious books which included: Back Roads and Byways of Michigan, China A to Z, Mexico Guide Book, Let’s Go France, Great Britain Guide Book, Sayings of Paramahansa Yogananda, A Year in Provence, King Solomon’s Ring, Original Blessings, Wizards Spell Compendium, The Trickster, The Holy Bible, Holman Concise Topical Concordance, Best American Travel Writings, The Book of Prayer, Around the Golden Ring of Russia, How to Know God, The New Union Prayer Book, The Mind, and Devotional Classics.
Early in the month Hara came across a free Lowery Organ online and picked it up. Hara planned for after her move to buy a Baby Grand Piano and collect Christmas Songs and Christmas Recipes. “Wouldn’t it be lovely,” she thought, “to learn many, many Christmas Songs with which to entertain holiday guests.” She registered for Piano lessons and sewing lessons in three locations. Hara was at Bethesda Church and received a blessing from a parishioner that said, “God, build a wall around her.” Hara was at Hope Church and received a Birthday Blessing and the Parishioner said, “Lord Bless her Birthday….Lead her towards good things and close all doors to bad things.”

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