Saturday was Rob’s fortieth birthday, and although I spent most of the day shivering and damp at an Earth Day festival at which my attendance was unavoidable, I tried to make the rest of the weekend as special for him as possible. That night, after I dried off, I took him to one of the city’s most prestigious restaurants, and yesterday, I presented an array of options for spending the afternoon. He chose to visit North Point State Park, a sprawling patch of land along the Chesapeake Bay a few miles outside of Baltimore City. I had never heard of it before researching unique local offerings this week, but its web site boasted the “ruins” of an Edwardian-era amusement park, which turned out on closer inspection to be a few reconstructed features surrounded by picnic tables. We did, however, see a few building foundations submerged in a thick forest of scrub trees, and we walked the length of a long pier and stared out at the bay. It was peaceful and attractive, and although blown out of proportion in promotional literature, was not notable for much besides being an oasis of green in an industrial suburb where warehouses and female revues mingle along the roadways. Later that night, we saw August Wilson’s last play, Radio Golf, which was a breathtaking work of art, although Rob’s enjoyment of it was marred by his smoldering feud with a woman with a foghorn voice who clearly meant to bleat her commentary through the entire production before he shushed her.
It was a lovely weekend, punctuated by thunderstorms and dazzling bursts of sunlight, as though the universe could not make up its mind how it felt about Rob entering his fifth decade on earth. But forty is the new thirty, as they say (or, at least, as Rob says), and his next forty years promises to be a fiesta of crumbs, open cabinet doors, dazzling music, well-deserved fame, TiVo, and life with a devoted husband and an immortal Boston terrier who love him very much.