A lot of the time, I ignore adulthood like it's optional. Like yesterday when I got home from work, as I walked up my stoop I pretended like my mailbox wasn't there - kind of like when you see an old friend but he doesn't see you, and you really don't want to talk to him for whatever reason, so you just walk quickly and sort of turn your head the other way as you pass by - because if my mailbox isn't there, then there's no way I could have any mail. And if I don't know I have bills to pay because there's no physical evidence presented to me that proves their existence, then basically they don't exist. Very solipsistic, yes? My high school philosophy teacher would be so proud. My parents, not so much.
Or how I still keep my kitchen well-stocked with things like Cocoa Krispies, mint chocolate chip ice cream and sandwich stuffs. And I don't hesitate to eat a big bowl of said Cocoa Krispies on Saturday mornings, burrowed into my covers and watching 30 Rock, which is just the grown-up version of morning cartoons. Or how I really still believe in magic. Or how I openly squeal when I see adorable babies or puppies on the street, and count amongst my most favorite films Finding Nemo and Edward Scissorhands. Oh, and not forgetting how I will openly cry at such films every single time I watch them.
But my deepest, darkest secret is that sometimes I really just want to be a grown-up. I know I'm still young and living in Manhattan, which is sort of like everyone's dream, and I feel so blessed to be able to run around the most amazing city in the world with my beautiful friends doing stupid stuff and and making art and paying more money than one should ever pay for drinks and pizza - but late at night, when I take the M15 bus uptown toward Harlem, I feel old. Not because I'm tired, or would rather be in bed by 11, or that I sometimes drink V8 - though all these things are probably true - but because of what I want.
All I really want is to meet the man I'm going to marry and start growing up beside him. I want to call him from work to see how his day is going and then - because he's a writer, clearly - I want him to tell me about his amazing idea for an essay or a story or a play. I will tell him I'm having a shitty day and that my hair looks like ass, and he will shush me and tell me how pretty I am. Then I want to go home to our adorable apartment and find him there, cooking dinner and listening to his favorite new album (TBD). I want to drop my bags on the floor and walk over to him and he will kiss me across his arms while he tosses veggies in a wok. I want to hear the sound of him sizzling in the air as I plop down at my computer to read the essay he told me about earlier. I want to cry as I read, and then I want to go to him and wrap my arms around him from behind as I rest my wet cheek against his back. He will stop cooking and turn around, wrapping his strong arms around me as he picks me up and carries me to our bedroom. The veggies will burn.
I want to wake up beside him every morning and laugh because he fell asleep on his notebook again and he has little spiral imprints on his cheek. I want to reach over and move it for him, and I want to hear him grumble sleepily in protest before he rolls over and wraps his arms around me. I want to sigh because I know he will be asleep again within a few seconds. He is. I want to slip out of the bed and start making my own coffee - something I've always so equated with adulthood, which is also why I've never done it - and while it brews I'll sit down at my computer and open it up and see his essay again. I want to write him a sticky note and press it to the screen: When I was 24, I would sit on the bus and dream about you, whoever you were. Now you're here, and turns out the universe is way better at making this stuff up than my brain was. Want to have babies? Yes/no? Circle. I love you.
Back on the M15, it's 3 a.m. and I realize I've started crying in real life. I laugh at myself and wipe my eyes. I get a text from my friend that may or may not be legible. I text her back. I remember that I am so, so young. I remember that I have dreams that need achieving. I remember all the art I want to make, all the goals I've set for myself.
My stop comes. I push the doors open and get off. They slam behind me as the wind whips my hair and dries my eyes. I walk home, alone, but happy.
I ignore my mailbox again.
I probably eat a spoonful of ice cream. Or several.
I pull out my computer and crawl into bed.
I start writing.
I smell coffee.
This post was partially inspired by my new favorite blogger, Peter DeWolf, who regularly writes letters to his future wife. Prepare to swoon, ladies.
NUMBER 7: ASTOR ROW
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