i still do it. start. and then stop. and think fuck, i'm almost forty.
yesterday, i ventured out of the house and went to a department store with my mom and two kids. wandered through the aisles of clothes, trying to find something i liked and that would fit my postpartum body. the one that still sort of looks pregnant. couldn't find any styles i liked. wandered into the junior section. saw some cute shirts but they were so damn small. and i realized. fuck, i'm almost forty. get out of the damn junior section.
i used to know phone numbers by heart. carried actual coins around in case i needed to make an emergency phone call. remember being in one room to have a conversation on the phone, laying on the carpet and wrapping the cord around my fingers while i talked. and that's it. just talked. didn't walk around the house or mall or grocery store. didn't drive or sit outside or go to the laundromat. i didn't accomplish anything while talking on the phone other than talking on the phone. unless i did my nails. because didn't every girl of the eighties do her nails while on the phone? my kids will never know what it's like to stand on one leg in the middle of the kitchen/dining room while talking in code to your friends because your parents are watching tv and although you're really not saying anything that needs to be kept secret, the need to have secrets from them is undeniable and is the mark of becoming a young adult. my kids will deal with texts and emails and all sorts of communication that i will not have control over. they will master keeping secrets in a way i can't even imagine. and i think. i'm old. i mean, fuck, i'm almost forty. immobile phones are the new walking to school in the snow.
i used to want to be an actress. probably still do, really. but i used to half-heartedly pursue it. which i no longer do. i used to think i had all the time in the world. graduated college at 24 and moved to maui for six years. moved back to los angeles at the age of thirty feeling like a teenager. there is something in the water on the shores of hawaii that pickles you. preserves you at the mid-twenties range so that you feel that you will always have years ahead of you to accomplish anything you want. you forget that one day, you will wake up and look in the mirror with the startling realization that fuck, i'm almost forty. there is no way i'm wearing a bikini. or going on an audition for a music video.
you'll remember how you used to sleep with the wrong men, drink too much when you had shit to do the next day, hurt friends because you weren't taking the time to really think before you opened your mouth, relied too much on the idea that tomorrow would somehow take care of itself and spent too much money on crap that wouldn't last. you chalked it up to your youth because you could always be an adult later. you spent your thirties living your life much like a teenager but with the ability to order a cocktail and smoke cigarettes in public. now, you wake up and look at your kids and your man and think to yourself fuck, YES, i'm almost forty. i'm too old now for cigarettes and bad last call decisions. almost forty ain't so bad after all.