Today I celebrate, or rather attempt to ignore, my second twenty-first birthday.
A half a life ago, at 21, I was a college intern at Marvel Comics. I lived in JC, on Fifth Street back then.
I ran into an ex-boyfriend in front of the New School last week. I hadn't seen him in about 15 years, since before I'd moved to Manhattan, back in the heady days of indie rock when bands slept on the floor of our group house, when the Other Marie, Nancy, and I used to tear around town in faux leopard-print coats (though mine was dalmatian), when we'd sail past doormen, when we'd inherit indie-rock-royalty secondhand clothes via Otis, when Nancy once marched up to Kim G0rdon and thanked her for a conspicuous furry coat she was wearing (it looked like Cookie Monster's pelt).
The ex, who surely never wore a Kim G. coat, but probably reviewed many LPs that she'd played on, asked what I was doing these days.
"I'm a comic book editor."
"STILL??? And where are you living?"
And then he'd just laughed. I'd stammered that I'd done a lot in the meantime, but it was kind of embarrassing.
"I went around the world a few times," I said, talking too fast and too nervously. "I've written four books. I've bought and sold two condos, left comics and returned to them over and over, lived in Uganda, Spain, Australia, and Kuwait...I wasn't in JC the whole time. I haven't been in comics this whole time."
Really, I'm not as pathetic as it sounds! I've done things! My years haven't been utterly controlled by inertia!
"Is your friend still married to D? I can't remember her name."
What? Could he be serious?
And suddenly, my awkwardness evaporated. Smugly, I answered.
"Marie. Her name is Marie."
Anyway, I'm 42 years old now. It's probably time I did more than talk about my next book. Mustn't let inertia take over!