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In Which I Am Not Sixteen Anymore

May 18, 2010

I have to change the radio station to the adult contemporary station because I can’t listen to hip hop at 10:30am.  The combination of bass and high-pitched-synthesized notes irrationally irritates; I hit the “tune” button harder than I intend.  And then the same with gas pedal at the end of my driveway until I realize the bush on the corner now obstructs all view of the gravel leading to the neighbor’s house.  Too late to hit the break, I am actually relieved at the empty driveway.  If a lead foot and a loud bass made me feel better at sixteen (I’m not sure it did), then I’m going to have to find a different outlet at twenty six.  I’m not sure why this surprises me.  Or why I’m surprised at the lack of weeds springing up in our concrete driveway.  Or how much I still dislike the adult contemporary station – I spent too many hours listening to it in the orthodontist chair having my braces tightened.

What has changed, and what hasn’t?  How long am I going to be here – do I have to figure this out?

I’m fighting sixteen year old irrationality with adult choices, like going to Big Y and purchasing my own coffee pot.  Because if I have to work my way out of this new maze, I’m going to need some coffee.  If I am going to transition HOME, I am going to need some coffee.  If I want to feel twenty six, and unemployed, and nearly addicted to 90210 re-runs, rather than sixteen and seeking summer employment and nearly addicted to 90210 re-runs, I am going to need some coffee.

“You are not sixteen anymore.”  It’s nearly an out-loud chant before I look around my car.  Black steering wheel, not gray.  Dark seats, not light.  It’s not my ’82 Toyota Corolla of ten years ago.  The coffee I was drinking on my way home last night still sits in the console.  Gross, sure, but also reassuring.  I find the CD I’ve had on repeat for the past few months.  It’s still there.  Right where it was yesterday.  Right. where. it. was. yesterday.  I pop it in.  Take a deep breath.  And then I’m twenty six again, running to the store to fill a coffee addiction, listening to an arrangement of notes that didn’t exist ten years ago.  And I remember: I am so many things I wasn’t ten years ago.

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