It begins at the end of November. That’s when Ginger’s birthday is. (There. I came up with a name for you. Are you satisfied?). Then Miss DeLoop. Then King Ghidrah. Then Quink. Then me. These are the few people older than me, and they’re only older by months, or in Quink’s case, weeks. Dig your heels in as much as you want and refuse to go along with it, your birthday will come, too. You can protest and not celebrate, the date still happens. Time is a little bitch that way. Always showing up uninvited.
When someone called Ginger to congratulate her, she insisted upon beating Ginger around the head and shoulders with her age.
“Wait, so you’re thirty-four now, right?”
“Wow. Thirty-four. That’s. Wow.”
“Well, I’m really not a day over twenty-six!”
“No, no you’re not. You’re not twenty-six. You’re thirty-four years old now.”
It doesn’t help me that my parents had a house and two children when my mother was my age. I mean, yeah, I could have gotten married to the crackhead and been divorced by now. Maybe had a kid. Jesus, wouldn’t that have been a mess. And it’s not as if I want my mother’s life, either. Not her young life or her life now. That sounds terrible, too.
Do I want what I have? I don’t know. There are times when being a thirty-four year old single woman has its perks. But when I write that out, it sounds a lot like when the paramedics told me, “You know, there are good things about a fifty-one fifty.” I don’t have to make any compromises for anyone. I have all the control. I don’t fight with anyone, or get annoyed or irritated. It’s easy. No one betrays me. No one breaks my heart. It’s safe. I don’t have to get STD tests because my partner has been seeing prostitutes. (Yeah, that happened.) It’s healthy, and there’s little humiliation. Only the natural humiliation of knowing that there may be something wrong with me because I’m still single at my age.
But the other night, y’all, I dreamt there was someone next to me. And it was nice.