And Now I Do This


When does childhood’s death knell hit? I’ve come up with three candidates and can’t choose between them.

1) The surprising day when the face in the mirror no longer matches the high school one.

2) When our investment in someone else’s future exceeds our interest in our own.

3) You know how romance languages have two past tenses–the preterite and the imperfect (the imperfect being the past continuous tense)? When our accounts of our lives slide from the present-tense equivalent of the preterite to the imperfect.

Kiddie-nostalgia cropped up on 30 Rock last night. Kenneth’s puppet-vision filled me with a guilty twinge of giddy good feeling. This is a show about children in adult’s bodies. Pete Hornberger says something about his dad being a senator. “And now I do this,” he says, as he prepares to deposit Tracy in a fake space shuttle.

I’ll be turning 29 soon. My definition of “young” has shifted over the years, but my sliding scale hiccups and grinds here, forced to reckon 29 as a grown-up age.

I am not a grown-up. I feel perennially half-baked.

I think about the grotesquerie of women who fail to assume their age.

I think of Lorelai Gilmore.

I think of Katherine Hepburn, and the fact that she made A Philadephia Story happen to revive her career after she’d been labeled box office poison. She was 33.

Christopher Marlowe died at 29. Sylvia Plath died at 31.

Is this the time when we either resuscitate or give up the ghost?

I will miss my twenties.