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Maybe

Photo credit: Genessa Gutzait

I’m getting old too soon. I’m going to bed at a reasonable time. My back feels like someone put their foot through it. I’m even starting to hate new music—the telltale sign of an aging asshole.

The other night, I stayed for one opener at syntax. I knew the girl and only bothered to hump my lazy ass into the city because I wanted to support my friend. I sat in the back at a table and sipped a Sazerac and only made noise between songs. I’d gone with my boyfriend, and we’d ran into others with youth still in their bones. They danced while we looked on.

I’m not old. I just turned 23 yesterday. For a lot of people, their early 20s is the prime of their life. Still, here I am, too young to rent a car and still feeling like a sack of laundry.

Perhaps, it was the point where I learned I wasn’t going to graduate this year. I’d gotten some bad advice at some point and now I need 17 more credits. It’s not uncommon but it means I’m going to have to take another semester’s worth of classes. 

“Anything you want,” my advisor told me. That’s wonderful. I’ve always dreamed of wasting time and money on a bunch of knowledge I’ll never use.  I’d driven all over campus to find parking, ran out of gas, and hadn’t slept last night. I think my advisor took too many conflict mitigation classes; he’s all inhales and nods. I let whatever stink was coming off me waft into his office. Nothing fights bureaucracy like a bit of body odor. Why do you think they’re always angry at the DMV? They’re losing.

Nothing makes one feel old like the thought of prolonged youth. By the time I was back in the car, I could feel imaginary wrinkles forming under the very real bags that hung below my eyes. I helped a guy from out of town jump his car at the gas station. We couldn’t get it running again but he thanked me all the same and I was reminded that some people become mellow in their adulthood. 

Maybe it was good that I felt too old for my body. Maybe I would mellow out. Maybe I could finally get the night of rest that meant I would never be tired again. Probably not, but maybe.

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