The sky is clear, but there’s a pleasant thunder rolling in and out of my tiny pocket of Brooklyn this afternoon.
New York City: Day 320
I can’t think of the last time I heard thunder here. Not good thunder, anyway. The kind that makes you want to turn off the lights, pull a chair by the window, and watch the storm travel through. The kind of thunder that instinctually makes you start counting (one-mississippi-two-mississippi-three-mississippi) with your eyes set on the sky, waiting for lightning.
I thought perhaps we might get a good rain yesterday. I waited, but there was only a light drizzle. Drops of rain slowly collected on the glass of the raised window in what The Poet and I have started calling The Library, the tiny book-filled room squeezed in between the bedroom and the kitchen. I tried to commit to memory the way the curtain was moving and the sounds the birds made. Memory is faulty, though, so I took this:
Among the things I am thankful for this summer: Greenpoint mornings, open windows, that curtain in the breeze. After spending a year fourteen floors above ground in the Financial District, I’ve also come to appreciate the birds again. I’m pretty sure there’s a nest in the rotting framework of window outside the apartment. I don’t mind.
Today’s my 23rd birthday. That seems too young to be right. I’m afraid maybe my soul’s aged too rapidly in the last few years. I used to take a quiet pride in my old spirit, but today, on my birthday, I wonder what I lost. I wonder if there isn’t something sad about a feeling of ancientness in such a young girl.
A few of my classmates and I met with a casting director in the fall. During the workshop, she told me she wouldn’t cast me to play any role under 28 years old, that I had a very old soul and that it was evident on camera. My darling friend Michelle told me once that she and Siri thought of me as their wise older sister who knew something that they wouldn’t figure out until later on in life. At a bar once in college, people were pinning down the decade or time period that they should’ve lived in. Nobody could find a time appropriate for me. It’s my nature, I suppose, and I don’t remember not being like this. Are old souls born that way? Was I like this when I was young? I don’t remember.
But, I’m only 23. The way 23 should be, the way people talk about it, I may as well have left the womb last week. (Speaking of wombs, I shared one with a pretty cool woman who lives in Nicaragua. Happy birthday, Lauren.) But I don’t feel that way. I’m full of this odd duality. To steal words from Lucille Clifton, I feel very much a green girl in a forest of kindling. I also feel very much a used poet. Today is for the green girl, but I feel old. Is that the nature of birthdays from here on out? Maybe.
Old or not, it’s a happy day. My boyfriend just came home bearing snickerdoodle cupcakes from Magnolia. Oh, how I love him. The thunder’s a birthday present to me from the sky. The Fleet Foxes are a birthday present to me from myself. Happy 23rd, self.