Happy Birthday, Mr. Shakes!!!

It’s my burfday!

I've mentioned before that when Mr. Shakes and I were dating, separated by an ocean and 4,000 miles, I once emailed to him a quatrain by Omar Khayyám quatrain on a day I was missing him even more than usual. He responded only by telling me to keep my eyes on my mailbox.

The next day, a package arrived from Britain that Mr. Shakes had sent nearly a week before, containing The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, with one dog-earned page. On that page was the exact same quatrain I had emailed.

Whenever someone asks me one of Those Questions, like what's your perfect date or what's your favorite way to pass an afternoon or what makes you happy, I always think of Mr. Shakes and "A book of verses underneath the bough, a jug of wine, a loaf of bread, and thou." I usually say "Hanging out with Mr. Shakes," lest I seem an even bigger pretentious geek than I've already revealed myself to be, but I'm thinking of our quatrain.

I love you, Mr. Shakes—and I'm damn glad you were born. Happy Birthday.

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