Volljährig, aber noch nicht erwachsen.
It’s my birthday today, and I hate it. I hate the way that it doesn’t come with any upgrades, new abilities or special built in features, ‘cept for fearing that this might be the pocket money cut off year. No rewards for slaying the dragon and saving the princess.
Fourteen is to both legally have sex, and to walk up to the council’s offices to change your religion. And I was naive enough to count the days, totally convinced that I would get laid right on spot, turned, and kept on counting. Apparently no one took any notice of the ticking hormone bomb, and I stuck it out with Christianity.
You always want to be sixteen: it’s when they let us drink, and back when I was sixteen, smoke too. Sitting it out in class, I would always check up on my lighter making sure it did its job waiting for the bell and the secret smoking corner. Sometimes I’d get to give classy senior girls a light, and sometimes our hands would touch for the split of a second.
It’s eighteen to drive, twelve to sit in front — not behind the wheel of course. Like anyone would give a fuck. Dad made the biggest deal, and then on my twelfth officially invited me to take a seat next to him, my sister kicking from behind, and us driving to McDonald’s. The next day I was on the backseat again.
To get your license isn’t a driving ‘round the block cakewalk. They take you out on the Autobahn and it’s at least a 1000 bucks to get your papers. I have never owned a car, just a fleet of bicycles, and while dream-driving still taking a place on the backseat, looking slightly up and out. The same perspective and everything flying by.
And then that’s it, no more levels left in your video game, until the big senior’s special over at Denny’s.
I’m all, UP, UP, LEFT, LEFT, DOWN, RIGHT, DOWN, UP. Her fingers glide across the shelf and I feel like her teammate, as she finally spots my smokes.
Her hair engulfs the name tag.
Gas stations gleaming out of summer nights, lighthouses of our teenhood. It’s almost September, and I feel young.
Thing is, she has a boyfriend; too adorable for his own age, he and his moped.
I’m usually the last one to sneak in for midnight noodles and nicotine, him leaning against the wall, her helmet looped under his arm, the eyes daydreaming.
I smile, she smirks, he nods.
Sitting in the corner of my balcony, I gaze into the darkness, the cigarette radiates; in the distance, a moped zooms through the night.
café au lait toujours, toujours café au lait.
She took the ferry almost every day that summer, and we felt the closest then; her being on that small chunk of the Atlantic, and me dunking my feet in on the other side.
During all those Saturday afternoons of camping out in front our telly, I’ve been on the Matthew Broderick side of things. Ferris Bueller and all. And while laying in bed rewinding Pretty in Pink in my head, Duckie always got Andie. He still does.
Fingernails on chalkboards do nothing to me, it’s tonguing the rough texture of popsicle sticks that curls my toes.
And yet, I’m bummed out whenever I unwrap a rocket pop only to find its chemical-colored body, which still tastes like being twelve, shooting out a soulless plastic stick.
As a kid, I’d store the licked clean wooden ones in my pockets, ask for friends’, and treasure the few I collected from girls’ mouths; kissing was still a dry theory.
With a good dozen sticks, and while still leaving growth marks on our door frame, I’d bicycle over to grandma. Oma put them in her flowerbed for the sprouting life to get a hold on.
She died on a summer afternoon.
I still save mine, every so often, plant one in her grave.