Through his twenties, my dad always wanted to turn 30. Sure he was married, had four kids, owned his own farm, car, truck, tractor and dog, but Dad always thought you couldn't be taken seriously until you were 30.

I'm 30. My birthday was Friday. We had a little party on Saturday night. A nice mix of people with half a dozen kids running around the house. Over by 9pm. A Respectable Party.

It's been 15 years since I first read Leonard Cohen's "I Have Not Lingered in European Monasteries." My friend Josh once ripped a page out of The Spice-Box of Earth with this poem on it and gave it to me. I carried it around for many years and always had it taped to the wall beside whatever my current bed was. I haven't seen it in a few years, but I'm sure it's in a box somewhere.

It reads a little differently now than it did half my life ago. I'm no poet or critic, but it's what I've been thinking about as I turn Respectable.

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