I tend to ride in my car with the window down, an iced coffee in hand, Taylor and hozier in the wind playing from a spotify playlist named “main character moment”.
I spend time in libraries, take a cotton on tote bag reading “feminist”, and a planner I fill––more to feel good about myself than to stay organised.
I wear gold and coloured butterfly clips to trap locks of my hair in loops of infinity so that I might forget the teen prefix to my age isn’t entirely infinite.
Teenage, never-ending but somehow so humane it’s mortal.
My youth is a time-bomb. The stickers at the back of my phone case are already peeling, my iphone is nearly out of season, and alternative music just isn’t getting any cooler.
And as much as I laugh with the people around me, I really don’t understand the jokes we’re laughing at.
So I go home and research dark humour so I can fit in just for this week before the jokes die and the laughter fades away and I have to study ever-evolving high school cliques once again to be included.
I build alternate realities in pinterest boards where I burn scented candles and paint faces and naked women with the sound of rainfall in the background.
I wonder when people stopped hating grey weather and found comfort in storms like I always did.
Now I shape my life into these silicone resin moulds, cut off the corners and shave down the edges, soak it in acidic peach tea, watch it dilute and dissolve into 4 x 6 frame photographs of our silhouettes behind a sunset.
Let’s take turns to catch the view and dodge the honest taste of experience.
We don’t really care about the cherry blossoms in that tree but the blooming essence of the need to fit in is essential, so we shove photogenic filters down our throats to emphasise the indie look of our backyard and it’s one tree in a hundred million ways for each day that our accounts are active.
Sit on countertops and internalise the ghibli animation lifestyle, learn the piano and play the themes to kiki’s delivery service, or howl’s moving castle, mist house plants and hanging baskets, trailing ivy and incandescence of sun catchers by the window. It’s ironic how we keep this wildlife alive as our inner selves fail to emphasise the lack of need to survive.
And as we expire, wrap wrought wire around seering limbs delocalised from internalised euphoria.
Stack books in the corners of our rooms, let the dust collect and ink fade until the academia sheen of it is dark enough. Not reading the stories inside but letting the name oscar wilde spell out in your caption so that the look of it is raw and bitter.
I wonder, when did an old dead guy’s name become aesthetically pleasing.
The teenage dream is a fission reaction of aesthetics in a TV screen and 21st century music, copy and pasted onto my instagram story.
No, that restaurant wasn’t that good but the neon sign reading pasta was good enough for my gallery.
If my youth is a time-bomb then my life is nuclear, as I live and breathe I’m splitting the atom, where my college life blends in with uni, blends in with internships, blends in with a 30 yr career, blends in with retirement, blends in with my death bed.
Where I’ll wish explosives weren’t forced into my childhood, because even at 16 I was only just a kid, who should’ve been chasing butterflies, and writing bad songs, and filling journals with the chaotic imaginations of a kid inventing new ways to fly.
Well it was never me flying, but my youth that flew by.
I’d forget that living isn’t finding matching pigments among text and images we post, or drinking energy drinks we don’t need, because energy is supplied by living, actually living. When we were always just existing.
So yeah, Tim Burton is kinda controversial, and the Barbie movie wasn’t that good, and getting caught in the rain is exhilarating, but my youth was always drowning, and I just couldn’t fight the tides of vintage film cameras and thrifted jeans.
My youth is a time bomb, ready to blow, explosion is set, expiration date met, eruption of the silent placenta of my life prepared, hear the buzzer ring, times out..now watch me implode.