When you get older, you notice your sheets are dirty. Sometimes, you do something about it. And sometimes, you read the front page of the newspaper and sometimes you floss and sometimes you stop biting your nails and sometimes you meet a friend for lunch. You still crave lemonade, but the taste doesn’t satisfy you as much as it used to. You still crave summer, but sometimes you mean summer, 5 years ago. You remember your umbrella, you check up on people to see if they got home, you leave places early to go home and make toast. You stand by the toaster in your underwear and a big t-shirt, wondering if you should just turn in or watch one more hour of television. You laugh at different things. You stop laughing at other things. You think about old loves almost like they are in a museum. The socks, you notice, aren’t organized into pairs and you mentally make a note of it. You cover your mouth when you sneeze, reaching for the box of tissues you bought, contains aloe.
When you get older, you try toner, you experiment with trousers, you experiment with real sexy outfits, you experiment with pin curls and darker hair and orange-toned red lipstick and you date people that look good on paper. You kiss them in public and feel only a little self-conscious. You never like them, although sometimes you really do. you think about safe sex and sometimes, kids. You think about plants, maybe succulents, or maybe even a cat?
When you get older, you try different shampoos. You find one you like. You try sleeping early and spin class and jogging again. You try a book you almost read but couldn’t finish. You wrap yourself in the blankets of: familiar t-shirts, caffe au lait, dim tv light, texts with old friends or new people you really want to like and love you. You lose contact with friends from college, and only sometimes you think about it. When you do, it feels bad and almost bitter. You lose people, and when other people bring them up, you almost pretend like you know what they are doing. You try to stop touching your face and become invested in things like expensive salads and trying parsnips and saving up for a vacation you really want. You keep a spare pen in a drawer. You look at old pictures of yourself and they feel foreign and misleading. You forget things like: purchasing stamps, buying more butter, putting lotion on your elbows, calling your mother back. You learn things like balance: checkbooks, social life, work life, time to work out and time to enjoy yourself.
When you get older, you find things like rejection hurt less and things like nostalgia hurt more. You watch people do things you want to do, and then you do some of those things too. Things start to feel like pins on a map. You watch landmarks pass and almost note them. You eat a taco from a food truck and be careful to dab the corners of your mouth with a napkin. You smooth your shirt down. You think about details, the details of how clean the beer cup is, how you need to put the dishes away, how she smells like a perfume you wore and how his teeth are perfect and aligned. You feel a little less downtrodden by things like routine and security and a little more appreciative of things like doing nothing, finding a friend, stretching on a big couch. You hear old songs and only sometimes do they gut you. You think about your future almost always, in both a thrilling way and a very very panicked way.
When you get older, you find yourself more in control. You find your convictions appealing, you find you like your body more, you learn to take things in stride. You begin to crave respect and comfort and adventure, all at the same time. You lay in your bed, fearing death, just like you did.You pull lint off your shirt. You smile less and feel content more. You think about changing and then often, you do.
When you get older, you barely notice it at all. Then, you are sitting somewhere you’ve been before, staring at the nothingness of the sky, and you feel the wind moving away from you, fast and almost impossible to catch.