Incidental Amusements

On Nov. 30 I turned 21. Not that you'd know. Some writers are so beloved that they have fans that adore and worship them. I found the novel Misery to be a heartwarming tale of a writer and his fan and the bonds that hold them together.

Actually, I guess the bonds were literal in that one. Either way, I don't think it's fair for me to be blaming you, and that's not just passive aggressiveness from my Reform Judaism upbringing. I've learned over the past week that a birthday can be dampened by it being on a Monday, after Thanksgiving break, when you haven't actually done any work all semester.

To their credit, my friends did their best to put together a party for me, a daunting task in the current Geneseo where laws are actually enforced. I think my ennui stems from the fact that, well ... 21 just isn't all its cracked up to be.

While I cannot overtly say that prior to the 30th I had ever let alcohol touch my lips or drugs enter my veins or even bet on toddler fights, I think we all understand that we live in a world where these things happen routinely.

I know it might be a little rattling for some of my younger readers to hear, but turning 21 really doesn't feel any different than usual. It's just like life to leave you hanging when you're looking for some profound truth, isn't it?

Maybe that's why the generous government lets you drink when you turn 21; to cope with the discovery that it's nothing but an arbitrary line drawn in impermanent sand.

Listen to me! I sound like I should be writing bad poetry and cutting myself in a high school girls' bathroom, and I'm way past that part of my life. The real lesson to get out of all this is that we can't expect to change just because we add another digit to our age.

"Age ain't nothing but a number," they say. Except for dating old people. They're gross.