Technically, I suppose, eighteen is the bigger deal, but I really didn’t think of it that way. Nothing much changed for me, in a practical way. I could vote, but I didn’t. I had to register for Selective Service, but there’s no draft. If I got arrested I’d be arrested as an adult, but I didn’t do anything to get arrested, so I wasn’t worried about it. I started my senior year of high school and life went on as before.
But now I’m not a teenager anymore. It’s silly, just a meaningless trick of language, but I’ve been thinking of myself as a teenager for…obviously seven years, which doesn’t sound like a long time, but it feels like most of my life.
I went home last weekend to celebrate with my parents and some of my friends there. We didn’t have a big party, because we couldn’t get everybody together at the same time, but I went out to eat with my mother and both siblings one night, and my Dad and my brother and his wife the next night. And I hung out with some of my old high school friends during the day. It was awkward—it seems like every time I go home I have less in common with my old friends, even the Wiccan ones, which is just bizarre. But we had a good time anyway, and it was really good seeing my family. My brother is a lot older than me and I hadn’t gotten to see him in a long time.
And I got presents. I usually don’t make a big deal about presents—I like opening them up, the surprise of the thing, and seeing what my family and friends got me, but I’m not really into “loot” for its own sake. Except this year I was more excited about it because I’m basically broke, and there are things I can’t get for myself. I mean, I sold my car last February, but that money goes to pay for my room and board fees here. I didn’t take any out for my own use. I have some money saved up from my job with the landscaping company when I was in high school, and I don’t need very much—I spend less than twenty dollars a week, on average, but—my income is zero and I really don’t want to ask for money from my parents. So I asked for books instead.
|Yellow Fly Agaric|
I didn’t make a big deal of my birthday on campus—some people do, even having someone announce their birthday after breakfast, so everyone can clap and sing Happy Birthday, but I didn’t really feel like it. Basically, I don’t like a lot of people paying attention to me, not all at once like that. But I did mention it to Ollie a while back, and so he, Willa, Rick, Joanna, Nora, Kayla, and Arthur all took me out to dinner in town. I bought a piece of chocolate cake for dessert and blew out three candles and let everybody take a bite. I got most of the icing. It was nice.
At dinner, Rick asked me if I’d invited Charlie, since he wasn’t there. Of course, I hadn’t invited anybody, Ollie invited everybody, and he isn’t friends with Charlie so he didn’t think of it, but honestly I’m not sure I would have thought of it, either. Am I friends with Charlie? I don’t know. He’s harder to get to know than a tree or a forest.
Speaking of Charlie, I’m wondering if he’s just had a birthday too, or something. He’s got a new book. I saw him sitting on the Mansion porch the other day, smiling in the sunshine, one sandal on and the other nowhere in sight, happily reading the beginning of this new book. He saw me looking at the book, curiously, so he held it up so I could read the title.
[Next Post: Monday, September 9th: Field Trips]