The man across from me is sucking his thumb.

I’m sitting in the middle of a college campus, and the man, he’s sucking his thumb.

You have some certain ideas about what being an adult is like when you’re a kid. When you’re really young, sixteen sounds cool. When you’re sixteen, things happen. When you’re eighteen you start to get all that responsibility. When you’re twenty-one you can go full blown crazy. After that it gets kind of wobbly wobbly. You look at it off in the distance like something that will come, a mental retirement, a kind of security.

Once I’m old there won’t be anything to be afraid of anymore. I’ll have it down. It’ll be easy. Sixteen you’ve got school, you’ve got more school at eighteen, you’ve got to figure out your career. But adults, they’ve got it. They’ve really got it, I’m sure.

And the man across from me is sucking his thumb.

Today on the bus I listened to Disney music. A little kid sat across from me with his head down. I’m sha-la-la-ing in my head to The Little Mermaid and this little kid is probably like she’s an adult. That’s an adult right there. Full of adult things I know nothing about. I scrunch up my face and have an imaginary conversation with him because he is surely much wiser than me.

I’m a small child wrapped in an adult body. I sip on my cocoa and I try to grab onto anything around me while the bus transports me to my inevitable reality.


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