I TURNED 21 AND THIS IS HOW IT FELT
My birthday was October 26th. I wrote most of this during the day and also some on the end of my (freshly legal) drunk evening.
- •Note: I believe in birthdays.I get excited. It really feels like a new chapter of a book to me. Characters change, tone can be so different. I look forward to it everywhere and even if the day is weird (and I don't get to do all the things I want), I still feel some kind of magic in the day.
- •I start the day with math class.No one knew it was my birthday and it felt great. I felt like a spy. It was also warm and I was sweating and we are deep in derivatives. I get so excited by the concepts I am probably sweating too. I spontaneously decided to go to college about six weeks ago. I think it is the biggest and best decision I have ever made.
- •I use my own ID to buy a bottles of nice champagne. I didn't know how to pronounce the orange label. It felt so good.I've been using a fake for seven years (that's weird, right?). To be honest, I was beaming as I handed over my license. They didn't notice. I think I was beaming a lot today.
- •I bike to the Great Lake, but don't let myself jump in.Michigan. I have developed such a fondness of it. I go alone. I sit and drink my sprinkling champagne out of a coffee cup. I watch three old men swim. My plan is too, is to swim, but it's really, really cold out and the water is rough. I don't think I should swim, alone. I decide it is irresponsible, something angry teenage Morgan would do, despite knowing the danger. Something my friends would be mad about. I sit staring.
- •I speak to an old man.One of the old men walks past me and says hello. I smile and greet him. He is happy for the smile, he tells me. He tells my the water is freezing, but he and his friends can't help it. They love the lake: "we are addicted". He walks away. I am so happy for this moment. This wise guy knows. I take it as a permission. (I also feel safer knowing they are within view. My little old guardian angels for a few moments.)
- •I swim.I move my limbs and it truly is terrific. I don't think swimming in cold water will ever get old. I know I will still love it when I am old. I hop out of the water, have another glass of champagne. I feel full. Of freezing happiness and freezing freedom. And golden bubbles.
- •I swing by the market on the way home and pick up a small picnic.Good cheese and pomegranate. I bike to the midway. This is the large stretch of green on campus. It lies on the south most street and it wonderful. I sit on my little hill and eat and drink more. A few different but dear friends come to sit. It really is lovely out. Autumn.
- •NapWake up and it is dark outside. The second half of the day feels new. The lake feels like a dream.
- •I eat dinner with a boy.I actually break up with him here. If it can be called that. We've been seeing each other for a few weeks. He makes me feel beautiful, he respects me, but I don't need a partner right now. I don't want a partner right now. We eat good falafel and I am frank and we talk about it. We laugh too. It isn't dramatic, though he is sad. I tell him I'll still be here. It feels good to get these things off my chest. I feel more free than the day before. Blah blah.
- •I eat desert with a girl.I swing by a girlfriend's. We eat pumpkin pie and baklava and sit on her floor. It is cozy and lovely. I feel mad grateful for these friends I've made since I began university. They are special and fantastically interesting. I am proud to be among them. It is a great and tasty pit stop. I bike home.
- •My brother comes to town.He arrives around midnight. I am so excited to see him!!!!!! And for him to be here for the occasion. He is my favorite guy. He's a bartender. He gave me my first drink (a shot of vodka - using an inverted metal top piece on our lava lamp as a shot glass) when I was 14 to ensure I knew what it felt like before I went to a party and found out by my myself (and puked everywhere, etc.).
- •We go to a punk show, and hop around. Then two lil bars.They are somewhere between shitty and beautiful. I love em.
- •I order drink(s) at the bar.I am no longer a phoney!!! For the first time I feel allowed to ask questions about cocktails and get answers. My hAnd is steady. I've been waiting for this. I am psyched.
- •Now: 4am, morning after birthdayI am tired. I will be tired tomorrow. I feel a bit older. I feel excited. For right now: I love growing up. I am 'drunk' right now and I know it is probably lamely making me look at the glass half full (yes, the linear irony), but what of it? I feel so fucking proud and happy to be right here, right now.
- •Note: now (a few week later).It was a great day. 21 feels good. Some days are brilliant, some days are hard. I have some years within me though. I can handle each of these little days. I can't wait for more.