Yes I live a crazy life. Mi vida loca. They say 30 is the new 20. They say 30 is the end of the line. They say a lot of things about the number divisible by 3, 5, 6, and 10. Yes, 30, it is an even composite number. It is the number that makes you realize that your twenties are important and they fly by. Thank Jesus my twenties are gone. Thank Jesus the days of being angst ridden, crazy, and having to prove something to the world have evaporated.
Yet there is also this feeling that comes with 30. It’s a reminder that you are an adult. It was the same rude reminder I got at 20. What is cute at 16 is no longer cute at 20. At 20, you are expected to have half a brain. Looking back, 20 is in fact young. However, the state can stick a needle in your arm for your crimes. At 30, if you make the same mistakes you did when you are 20, it’s no longer cute. It’s a cautionary tale. Yes, in some ways I probably am a cautionary tale.
My house is dirty. As for my refrigerator, I think a monster lives in there. I do battle with a mouse named Mordeci who is the closest thing I have to a man. Add in the friends I have who either have tested the judicial system in some fashion or the laws of nature in some way. Not to mention I have no man, and the two men I fell in love with were absolute disasters. One I have a different mailing address because of, the other was technically a fugitive until several months ago. Factor in that I am chasing a pipe dream living a Princes Pan type existence as my normie friends from high school get married, buy homes, and produce babies. There are some woman who at my age would be freaking out at the sight of my bank statement, house keeping, shaky career, lack of a love life, and little stability on the horizon. Not I.
There is this fear that at 30, people will lose their looks. They lose their vitality and youth. When I said I was turning 30, more than one person put their arm around me and said, “Welcome to the club,” jokingly but not. It’s as if mortality has become real, and time and space collided. In their minds they say this because the believe it all goes down hill from here.
But does it?
In the last 72 hours, I have had more people hit on me than ever before. It all started the day before my birthday, a dirty old man overheard me talking about being broke. He grabbed my arm and offered to pay any of my bills anonymously. I didn’t know what to say except, “Wow.” Something in me knew better and I thanked him and left.
The next day was my birthday. I was at the pool taking a swim when a female lifeguard, bushy taled, gave me this mega watt grin. I recognized it as school boy developing a crush. I looked down awkwardly, as if to shy away from this attention. While she was quite cute, I wasn’t prepared for whatever was going to happen next. She walked over and asked if I had a lesson with George, the Jamaican head lifeguard who rules the pool with an iron fist but is also an Aquatic Einstein. When she saw this advance failed, she apologized sheepishly and remarked she liked my suit.
Later that evening, I delivered a singing telegram to a 14 year old kid in cheerleader form. At first his friends were lukewarm. But as the performance continued, they got into me. One kid asked if I was varsity. Then I put my arm around the birthday boy, who was so shy and cute. This same buddy yelled, “Now that’s varsity!”
When I sang to the kid, I gave him a red lipstick kiss on his cheek. His little friends, who by this time would have kept me all night if they would have been allowed, swarmed in for the close up. Barely letting the celebrant breathe, they zoomed in with envy to get the red mark on their friend’s cheek. Oh yes, I was a hit with the young and sex starved. Either way, it felt cool and awkward at the same time. While the guys loved me, I could also be signing up for a certain registry if I wasn’t careful. However, I don’t think they would have stopped that show.
On my way home, I got hit on by a creepy man while riding The Metro North. His opening line, “Hi, I’m Nick. What’s your name?” Excuse me, that is rather bold. Wow! So I moved. It was strange. It was weird. It was WTF?!?! This was more sexual attention than ever. WOWSA!!!
The next day, I was over a friend’s house. He wanted to show me a song he wrote. After having battled various demons, by buddy now wants to perform drag, don’t ask. As he sang his song for me, his neighbor came over to borrow some sugar. The neighbor, a big man built like a tank, sat down and talked to me while my buddy took a phone call. He proceeded to tell me he used to be a skinhead and the beliefs of his people prevented race mixing. However, his skinhead ideology was being tested because he found out he was part Puerto Rican. Also, he liked to sleep with black girls. Then he told me about some of the crimes he committed. Then it hit me. This dude thought he was impressing me. WOW! I made some excuse to leave. Something about a dude being a member of a racist skinhead gang is such a no. On a positive note my friends song was good.
Just then, I decided to go to the deli and get some octopus as a treat. As I entered the deli, the dude behind the counter started hitting on me. Yes, the little Russian from wherever asked me if I spoke English and any other language. What kind of question was that? Then I realized he was only 16, and then he wanted to know if I wanted my octopus fried. I was like wow, what a terrible pick up line.
Sunday started peacefully, until a homeless dude cat called me. I wore a blue sundress to church, figuring it was one of the last Sundays. With it I wore red classy Marilyn Monroe heels. As I walked into church, I made myself comfortable in a pew. As I was ready to ask God for guidance and perhaps see my crush Church Boy walk in, I was confronted by a nun. An old shrew of a woman, she had the classic habit and evil eye my father speaks about when he recounts the horror of his Catholic School days. Thus this is why being Catholic is like a heroin habit. It’s bad for you, but you can’t quite kick it no matter how hard you try. Even if you do, you always end up back where you started.
“This is church!” The woman sneered in a heavy accent from somewhere in the former Communist block.
I nodded my head aware of where I was. Yes, church.
“This outfit is not appropriate for church. It’s appropriate for the outside, for amore.” She glowered. Now her eyes were so red I wanted to call an Exorcist. I was a slut in the house of God.
I said nothing. I wanted to tell her I was homeless and this was the only thing I owned. I wanted to point out a woman on the other side of the church was wearing something more scandalous. Oh, and maybe I should have told the old corpse that at least I was in attendance at the House of God unlike the rest of those who lived in our sinful city. Not to mention some people would probably enter in short sleeves, cargo shorts, and flip flops. Perhaps they deserved her sermon.
When I didn’t respond to her crazy, she yelled, “PRAY!” Then she made a shooshing motion with her hand and off she went. After which she made her way to the back and made some fuss to a parishioner who was old and overdressed and not to mention overweight. The parishioner, who still had some grounding in reality, escorted the piece of driftwood out and gently reassured her at least I was in attendance. Either way, throughout my 20s nothing like this ever happened to me.
After exiting church, I was walking to my deli and a white haired dude in a car hit on me. He asked me where I was going and if I needed a ride. I told him I was meeting my mother which made him speed off. Either way, between being yelled at by a nun and now this. Wow.
Then I went to my deli, and got hit on again by a Russian dude. He asked me what I was doing later, and if I could help him with a home improvement project. It wasn’t even eleven o’clock and I had already had quite a day. In my heart and in my mind, I didn’t know what the hell was going on.
Junior high had been dateless and high school there were no men in site. My twenties saw the earlier part either with men who didn’t want me, crazy men, or bad choices in general. Towards my mid and latter twenties, the focus became so much so on the career that I neglected to date and most nights when I wasn’t performing stayed in. I did more in those years than I thought possible, and did little to seek male attention. And now it is flying at me. Actually, male and female attention.
Later I called my pops. He asked if my plans included a date or boyfriend. I told him I had a record number of men hitting on me. He asked if any were worth anything. I told him I didn’t know, I was still getting over the shock. However, I left out the part about women hitting on me. Hey, you have to keep all your options open I suppose.
I told my friend about the time I had been having. She told me perhaps the universe was telling me it wasn’t the end of the world, but the beginning of another chapter.
My friend’s granddaughter said, “Or April looks good. She’s not too fat, she’s not too skinny. She’s just right.”