Thursday, June 01, 2006

Turning Thirty Did Not Kill Me

Originally uploaded by kanngard.
All my friends over thirty have always seemed really cool, but I always felt like there was some invisible doorway they had passed through that had conferred them a certain painful wisdom.

Like: nobody ever tells you this, but on the exact moment that you turn thirty, your entire skeleton comes out through one nostril and your skin collapses in a heap on the floor. As soon as the pain subsides, the skeleton puts itself right back into place, entering through the other nostril. Or: you fall deeply in love the morning of your thirtieth, and are cruelly dumped right after bedtime. Neither of those things happened to me on Tuesday, I am pleased to report.

I definitely feel like I squandered a lot of my twenties. There's nothing I regret doing, but a lot of things I regret not doing. I feel like I spent a lot of time waiting for permission to live my life while I scraped by on nothin' with no hope for much more in sight.

I beat myself up a lot, if you haven't noticed, particularly creatively. I read like whales eat plankton. I usually devour music the same way. If I had a quarter for every amazing book/album by an under-30 wunderkind who's made a shit-ton and gotten a movie deal/place in the annals of pop history while fulfilling himself creatively, I sure as hell wouldn't have had to play my little trick on the soda machine in the laundry room tonight to dry my bedsheets.

But that's just the dark whinging part of it. The weekend preceding the day itself was like a commercial for birthday weekends. It was that fantastic. I flew to Boston to hang out with two of my best friends and spent most of my waking hours with a drink in one hand and a superlative sandwich in the other.

We went to Mike's Pastry in North End, which sells weapons-grade cannoli. My god, such pastry. The following morning, my best friend since kindergarten, his wife (also an incredibly close friend) and I all sat on the porch drinking espresso, eating these heavenly death-dealing cannoli and talking about the fact that getting waxed by a sniper right then would not be but so bad, really.

After a weekend spent marinating in Boston's book shops, record stores, and comic book shops (the three lenses through which I view all places), I flew home, feeling loved and went out to have a massive Italian meal with fifteen or so great friends, chased it with a Grand Marnier and awoke the next day with breath full of sulfites, garlic, and basil byproducts. That's a man's breath, right there.

So yeah -- this whole being a grownup thing, it's not without its benefits. I feel like I've identified a lot of things that are complete bullshit, and decided not to put up with them -- freeing up a lot more time to make my life exactly what the funk I want it to be. Youth, as they say, is wasted on the young. Specifically young people with money.


At 9:59 AM, Blogger Lonnie Bruner said...

"There's nothing I regret doing" - Not even killing 142,972 kangaroos?

At 9:56 PM, Blogger aL said...

30 to me is the equivalent of finally buying that 6 shot revolver in the dusty old time store and then purchasing the box of hollow points when only intending to use one round. Then again, I have but less than 3 years to do so and I have been told it's not all that bad. Instead, I have slowly been changing musical tastes to bide the time. Glad to know that 30 isn't all that bad...


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