Today Ms. P.E.K. celebrated her 35th year on earth. I remember six years ago she was worried that she would turn 30 in prison. Our main thought: what a bummer. It can't be much easier to turn 35, but she was, naturally, upbeat and taking it all in great stride.
It's frustrating to not be able to call your girl on her birthday (as we're in one-way communication mode), but she called me in the afternoon (allowing me to loosen up the death grip I had on my cell phone all day) and I played her 50 Cent's "In Da Club," always a birthday anthem for our girl.
"Are you having a good birthday, baby?" I asked her when Fitty finished. "You know," she said, "I am." She pretended to be asleep when her friends surprised her with the ritual cube decoration (this is where people sneak into your cube at 4am and dress it up with makeshift streamers and such so it's there when you wake up). Later she had a homemade dinner celebration of chilaquiles and fried noodles. Clue, a very large woman and excellent rapper, gave her a big b-day squeeze explaining, "I'm a big girl; I give big hugs."
Happy Birthday, baby!