The Unswung Bat

Saturday, February 07, 2004
I Just Can't Get Enough x2

Stick around long enough and it's bound to happen. I turn twenty in a scant twelve hours. Excuse me, what I meant to say was:

I turn twenty in a scant twelve hours!

What a weird idea. Of course I don't get any wiser or more mature on a regular schedule, but I sure as chips get older. I'm not sure if there's any such thing as hell, but I am quite sure that I'm eating chips right now. Sun Chips, mmm. I went through a similar thing when I turned sixteen, only I didn't have the chips back then. I certainly don't feel like some twenty year-old type. What are twenty year-olds like? They're all sort of casual and think they know shit, plus they've got their bacheloresque squalor living, and probably some kind of hair thing going, maybe they go out to the movies but they don't watch as much tv as they used to . . .

Oh shit. Oh shit piss fucking obscenities. Obviously by the time I was halfway through that sentence (the last sentence of the previous paragraph, lest you get confused), I knew it was me. But I didn't know it when I started it.

Luke used to say: "I'm seventeen years old, but I'm fucking thirty." He called it the effect of the gifted program. Makes you old beyond your years, less prone to getting roaring drunk and breaking shit and jumping off things. I guess he proved himself wrong.

Way back in the day of Freeman's class, approximately grade seven, me and the homeboys, which I guess means me, Max, Matt, Nick, and Avi 'cause we shared a table in class, were perplexed by the notion that we could - nay, would - turn into teenagers. Avi was the first to key into the absurdity of anticipating it like that. He imagined a twelve year-old, not unlike ourselves, only with sunglasses and hairgel, and maybe some kinda teenager-type jacket, walking along snapping his fingers and singing a little song that went:

"One more month, one more month, and then I'm a teenager . . . "

Nobody sings shitty songs like Avi does. Such timbre.

Twelve more hours, Twelve more hours . . .

Because you see to us, teenage was the third phase in life. You had your little tiny preschool phase, and then the cool phase we'd been in for a while, when you appreciate the ninja turtles without a trace of irony or nostalgia, grungy rock don't impress you, and you wake up early on saturday mornings for the cartoons! Not to mention going over to your friends' houses and probably acting out crazy games loosely based on those same tv shows, but guided by minds too loosely anchored to society to appreciate the clichéd or important parts of the plots, so really you're just making it up as you go along. And, if you're like me, you probably end up hitting each other with sticks. Me and Sam called that Sacred Space Fighting. And it kicked ass for miles. We used broomsticks whenever we could.

Byron was here last night, slowly turning twenty too, but I'll beat him to it. Remember back when Byron and Leora and me were in the same class, and small? I remember. The same house on Wayland Avenue was where they lived, and every once in a while when I went over there we'd drink juice, probably apple juice, out of these red orange yellow and green plastic cups that flared out on top, and eat food that was delicious because it wasn't at my house. That's another thing, food was always good when it was at someone else's house. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches appealed to the palate of the conoisseur, instead of just sticking to it unpleasantly like they did when your own parents made them, and you couldn't believe - or at least I couldn't - how plump the spaghetti was, and how squishy the meatballs, when you had dinner at a friend's house.

It was cool, because we would eat quickly and make jokes and talk like little morons with no manners and maybe we would wash our hands afterwards. The kitchen was sort of bright and the table was a slab of wood and Byron and Leora both had these huge lisps so that L's were W's and there were cats. I didn't have any cats, and I also didn't have Crystal Quest, but they did, oh did they ever. so after lunch we would go downstairs and boot up the Mac and play some real old school video games. Later on there was Power Rangers Scrabble, the premise being that Power Rangers were stupid so the idea was to fill up the board with bad words. I think Leora invented that.


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