In less than an hour, and possibly by the time I finish this post, I will be thirty years old. It's a grim reality and one I am still attempting to reconcile.
Thirty is said to be the old age of youth. In the Japanese culture thirty is considered the age in which one truly becomes a man. As I draw nearer by the minute to this milestone I feel less adult than ever before.
The evidence of my age is mounting however. I've done things I never dreamed of doing when I was younger. I have been married now for seven years. I have a child. I also work as a professor and it seems ever quarter I am confused by how young my students seem to be. This should all stand as evidence that I am no longer young, but every time proof of my progression toward the grave presents itself I counter in my mind with proof to the contrary.
For example I spend each night of my life watching cartoons populated by sophisticated talking dogs and megalomaniacal milkshakes. I have a myspace page as well as one on facebook. My tastes are helplessly teenage; ragged jeans, Goodwill shirts, albums by bands no one has heard of.
But since my birthday is hurtling through time toward me I have made plans. Tomorrow I will celebrate the death of my twenties with my own personal wake. I will drink the same bourbon I drank in college, one with a quality so low referring to it as "cheap" would be an exercise in looking on the bright side. I will watch reruns of The Ben Stiller Show (when I could stomach Ben Stiller), Mr. Show (one of the best and strangest sketch shows ever), Kids in the Hall (ditto), and Saturday Night Live from the early nineties (a cast which for my money surpasses the original 1975 cast). I will listen to Soul Asylum (Grave Dancers Union), Nirvana (Bleach), Pearl Jam (Ten), and Pontius Copilot (my favorite evaporating band from the past). I will wear a concert shirt from the bottom of my closet, and read from On The Road.
I will pretend to be young. The next day, I will learn how to be an adult.