If you ever read this, I want you to know that this piece derives from a week of hard hours of studying and lots of Sex and the City episodes. I felt a strong urge to justify why these thoughts popped into my mind. Regardless…
The other day, Tuesday to be exact, I was at the bar getting a beer after my bike ride. Nothing too big. Just wanted something refreshing on the Burke-Gilman. Then out of nowhere, 22 approached me.
He plopped a seat next to mine and began to engage in conversion. Asked the bartender to hand him a Guinness, presuming his thoughts in prose, and flushed back his wavy brown hair flow that extended over his ears. He was a Techie, an “intellectual” clog in a startup-machine that produced the Bona Fide work while also aiming to make 90–100K in a couple of years. Didn’t seem like a corporate lover but gravitated towards regimen and routine. He didn’t say any of this though, no. 22 oozed confidence. You could practically smell it. And you could tell, he was different from 21.
22 was the one who could take care of a dog, take out the trash, and even get take-out before you even handed him the Chinese menu. No, 22 knew himself and most certainly knew what he could offer and what he wanted.
22 was a daunting fellow. Liberating and exhilarating. Comfortable but mysterious. One second you felt like you had the world at your fingertips and the next humbled by the gravity and ungovernable vastness that was life.
22 had perspective and boundaries. He knew how far to go and when to stop. Something, I hadn’t learned quite yet.
21 taught me a lot: about myself and the warm Southern charms that punctured through my cold Bostonian demeanor. But, it was after 21 that I learned even more. Living alone, I had to teach myself that to navigate this life, without crutches and barriers from being fully present as a child of God, I had to establish my moral boundaries. That way, when the wind struck and the foghorn blew, I wouldn’t be wavering, but ready.
22 let me exercise and apply what I learned. And I felt ready.
He grinned, the corners of his mouth tapering as he finished his pint. My eyes shook and returned to ground zero.
22 stood up and stretched. We shook hands. 22 gave me his contact information. We parted ways.
I looked down at my screen, reminiscing the last few fantastical lingering seconds that ruminated in my eyes. Truly, it seemed like a dream.
22 walked out of the saloon, vanishing to catch his next GBM. My fantasy was soon interrupted by this blatant black number on my screen glaring back at me.
22 was 25.