Apparently, in order to get married, you need a birth certificate. I hadn’t seen mine since we botched it up while trying to get a fake driver’s license in 1984, but I do remember it being a shitty xerox hastily signed by the county clerk – there wasn’t even a stamp of authenticity.
Those days are long gone. This puppy came in the mail from Santa Clara County in California, and it has more tamper-proof crap on it than a $500 bill. The problem is, all I did to get it was call, so it seems like pretty much anybody can get anyone else’s birth certificate for the $15 processing fee.
Looking at the certificate, I noticed that my mom was 35 when she had me, a year younger than I am now (and she already had two other kids at the time). And my dad was 27. I realize that might have been a little old to have a kid in 1967, but now that seems almost irresponsible. When I was 27, I was living at the farm with Ann and Greg Humphreys, and I made $5400 that year. I was so far below the poverty level that I qualified for food assistance (I lived on Slim-Fast and pasta anyway).
It took so much for me to be born; my mom’s first husband had to fall asleep at the wheel, she needed to have six miscarriages, my dad needed to start conducting long after everyone told him not to, the Vietnam War had to scare everyone into getting married, and I had to fight my way through anemia and an incubator. I know that everyone is the product of several million random twists of fate, but whether it is reality or some weird narcissism, my existence always seemed to me like a total fluke.