Twenty-One

Twenty-one.

Twenty. He’s the age between ages.
Not quite the legal partier, Twenty sees people around him and thinks that they have it so much more together than he does;
His inspiration, once born of hard work has now begun to be hardened by work into an outer defensive shell with which he pushes people away; daily he seeks his once possessed empathy in order to regain what he defined as his cheerful youth.

Nineteen. He’s the age of repossession. Nineteen has taken it upon himself to claim back the world in the name of something that he stands for. He puts his feet through the causes and soaks them up in his new found roots.

Eighteen. He’s the adult. Eighteen has choices that are supposedly life changing; decisions pressed down on Eighteen are never ones that split evenly, they bend with the weight of his future college debt and his cheerful lack of inhibitions. So he reaches for practicality to sturdy himself.

Seventeen. He’s the gamer. Seventeen weaves his way in and out of friends houses on the weekends, slaying zombies and aliens; drinking too much Gatorade.

Sixteen. He’s the age of three thousand girlfriends. Hopping between meaningless two-week relationships, Sixteen begins to find himself in the blank pages at the back of each paperback copy that he is forced to read, although he isn’t yet aware of it.

Fifteen. He’s the age of promises that last forever. Fifteen holds fast to the words that were once gifted to him so softly, he uses what he knows to fight for what he wants, maybe the first time that he’s ever done that.

Fourteen. He’s the blind follower. He laughs at jokes that he doesn’t think are funny. Fourteen’s weekends are spent mainly in his friends truck; they consist of aimlessly driving around and eating hot dogs from Costco.

Thirteen. He’s the age of discovery. Thirteen sits playfully beside the light blue denims and “Chip & Dale” t-shirt slowly realizing that sometimes, two hearts beat simultaneously in a space and people call that love.

Twelve. He’s hopelessly in love. Twelve finds the innocent pre-teen romance of a girl that both destroys and creates him at once. His cliché actions ignite a palette of emotions that he had never imagined could exist.

Eleven. He’s discovering music. Eleven finds some strange, true sadness in the twang of Jack Johnson’s guitar without actually comprehending a single lyric. This, he shares with a cute “Chip & Dale” t-shirt.

Ten. He’s finally a double digit. Ten jumps on the bus one day, landing himself in the front seat for the whole year and making an unlikely friend in his next door neighbor: a boy who saves his life on many an occasion.

Nine. He has his first crush. Nine spends his entire fourth grade year sitting across from a girl who has no interest in him and who finds his sporadic behavior to be somewhat strange.

Eight. He’s strangely despondent. Eight decides for no reason, other than the fact that he feels some kind of innate pull toward it, that cutting a large hole in the trampoline with the kitchen scissors is the best idea that one could have.

Seven. He’s tired of being a kid. Although his inner desire is to grow up, Seven refuses to learn how to read and is forced into a class where the only way out is through a book.

Six. He’s the starving artist. Six wears many hats including cowboy, wizard and top hat. His world is engulfed in new children that are constantly taking away all attention.

Five. He’s off to school. Half way through the term, Five will attempt running away from class due to a severe loneliness that he feels beginning to sprout inside him.

Four. He’s nearly dead twice. Four spends a decent amount of time in and out of hospitals, completely unsure of what is actually happening to him and somehow maintaining a cheery, childish happiness through all of it.

Three. He’s the naked dancer. Three litters his entire year with well-taken baths and poorly timed naps that keep him up late with his hair in thickly twisted curlicues.

Two. He’s the showman. Always one to impress, Two is doing anything he can to grab the attention of his parents, setting the tone for a life with his audience.

One. He’s pure. One is free to live inside his own mind and although he is over encumbered and frustrated by this body that makes no sense to him, he is generally happy living inside his own head.

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