I meant to write down every time I saw something happen and thought, This is what it means to grow up. But I am myself, so of course I did not. How do I write about this? How do you write an elephant into a rabbit’s cage? Please let me know.
I didn’t need to be high like the rest of them to feel what I knew to be my life uncurl from my fingers and wander away. I didn’t need to be drunk to act loopy, because it was the only way for me to stay sane. I didn’t need to start up with lean, because I’m not suicidal.
People complimenting me feels like knocks on a tin can with a painted yellow smiley face. I’m warm but can’t keep it for long. I actively consider how I have been able to keep up for the past two months here in NYC, and can only attribute it to people’s jealous comments and catcalls. Love it.
My professors are impressed. A good email; that one is going in the archives. Saying my writing was beautiful, he might as well have said that I was, too. What could be in his life to make him say such things? Like the rest of them, he goes home to a wife who can accept a lion’s mane of hair and their new kid. Even beautiful writing is forgotten.
So this is what it means to not grow up. I am going to go home next week, think things will be easy compared to this East Coast ride, and quickly realize that people are humans and can’t be “easier” because of a geographic variation.
This is what it means to grow up. To go home next week, think things will be easy compared to the past two months, and then . . . ♦