I’m still running on a fuckton of nervous energy, in case you were wondering, the kind that wakes me up in the morning (and several times in the middle of the night) and leaves me prone to bouts of dizzy nausea and compulsive Craigslist surfing. This morning, I realized that all of this planning, worrying, and actual stuff-getting-done-ing is very adult of me, and possibly this means that I am finally a grownup.
Chronologically, I know I am a grownup. It’s hard to reach the aches, pains, and fatness of 30 without understanding this. But I still don’t feel like a grownup most of the time. Most of the time, I feel like an awkward, hairy-legged adolescent who still doesn’t understand that washing her face regularly is a good thing, and who thinks that three bowls of Cap’n Crunch is a perfectly acceptable meal, and has no idea what the fuck she’s doing or how the fuck she’s doing it.
Maybe this is how everyone my age feels. Or at least everyone my age who doesn’t have kids or multiple mortgages. We’re old enough to qualify for cheaper insurance but most of us haven’t the faintest idea what we’re supposed to do with our lives, or if “what we’re supposed to do with our lives” means anything other than paying bills, staying solvent, and somehow getting to retirement, whatever that’s supposed to be anymore. I’m not having an existential crisis or anything and I never expected great things out of my life, but I wonder if I’m not supposed to want more than semi-comfortable survival. If I can have friends and love people and not rely on the food bank for canned beans, I’m doing okay. I think.
Which is pretty much what Adolescent Me wanted, anyway. Well, that and the ability to lay around all weekend reading horror books, because Adolescent Me couldn’t think of any reading experience more enjoyable than a Christopher Pike story or an RL Stine Fear Street novel.
This is the millionth time where I tell all of those “I’m Not Really a Reader” people to just fuck the fuck off again. How do you people stand it? How did you get through childhood? How did you reach adulthood without once knowing the thrill of the YA Horror section of the public library? Before this vampire/werewolf romance nonsense, there was some real supernatural murder mystery shit going down, and you guys missed all of it.
If there were an official process by which people could award those authors whose books so defined a childhood, or adolescence, or even life before people were old enough to pretend that Infinite Jest was good, then I would certainly want to thank RL Stine and Christopher Pike (whose Wikipedia entry says that’s a pseudonym?! Which blows my mind for some reason?!). They’d be included with all the others –Blume, Salinger, Vonnegut, Hinton, Tolkien, Bellairs, and those fucking assholes behind the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark – who made reading a big thing for me, whether or not the stories scared me. Also I should admit to reading Death Be Not Proud several times, as well as a fictional Holocaust (the character was fictional, not the Holocaust) novel called Gideon, both of which I loved for really weird reasons but I just felt you all should know. Also, I pre-ordered RL Stine’s new adult novel for my Kindle.
Hey lookit that, I went a whole seven minutes without being nervous.