Let me tell you how it is to be twenty-nine (minus seven).

It’s like having the stomach flu for five days straight and eating nothing but crackers and diet sprite, still hating David Foster Wallace, making phone calls from the gathered wrinkled sheet nest, not bothering to re-charge electronics, a productive day is re-polishing nails.

I am still an expert procrastinator, which is always what you read on the internet because this is where people go to procrastinate.

I owe stories all over the place, and can not bring myself to finish chapters by writers named in triplicate.

Also, twenty-nine means still forgetting to pay my rent on time.

Means still seeing my face in newly published photographs and trying to remember exactly where that was taken and exactly who was being blown.

Now that I’m twenty-nine, I’m still no good at asking for help with things like obtaining diet sprite for my ill belly, and I still want very badly to see the butterfly exhibit.

I’m thrilled to screaming by concrete slides ridden down on torn hunks of corrugated box.

I still, even now, want my mother to notice.

I want cake with buttercream and shoes with buckles.

I want your face in my hands.

I want three-flavor ice cream.

I want to learn how to do this.

If you ask me whether taking the Q to the J train on a Thursday in mid-afternoon in March shows you just exactly what New York wants from you I’ll tell you yes.

And if you ask me whether a monthly blood test leaves small bruises I will answer yes to that also.

I will tell you that the condition of having badly to piss in an airport or a nightclub or a highway diner or a school administrative building and not pissing from fear of harassment fills me with worry.

I will tell you that synthetic hormones still make my hate list even while I appreciate their uses.

I will tell you that I am comforted by both Josephine Bear and Hello Kitty and will continue, despite your belief that they harbor disease.

I will tell you : never again will I attempt to forge a relationship in a bar.

Things I have already given up include: black lipstick, the fear of eating, every color but blonde, the love of poverty, powdered milk, the fear of dancing in front of you.

Even if I do it badly.

Even if, at twenty-nine the only dance of which I’m confident is lap.

Things I will give up include: not calling, ill-fitting shoes, not bothering to look.

I will give up trying to keep the polish off my cuticles.

I will give up not telling my mother about my life when what I really want is to TALK to her.

I will give up being disappointed when she is quiet on the other end of the line with the television or her cooking sounds or the sound of nothing in the background.

I’ll send the pictures when I say I’m going to send the pictures.

What I won’t give up is: diet soda, reading in bad light, high heels, trying.

What I’ve learned is: how to be slow, lemon relish, the color of your eyes, I’m sorry, costuming, how to make a pirate sandwich.

What I want now, this year: an end to nausea, lettuce that isn’t cellophaned, your hands on me, things made waterproof – both mascara and  boots, a bright path home.

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