rambling like a stoner; or, i say “sometimes” a lot

April 20, 2010

ten years ago today, i got my ear pierced. this fact is not terribly important, despite the fact that i lead with it. this particular piercing, the industrial in my right ear, was neither my first nor my last. it was neither the most nor the least painful.

in fact, in most ways, this day was not particularly significant. it was a thursday. either i didn’t have a thursday afternoon class, or i ditched it to go celebrate 4/20. first, though, i met up with my roommate m. and our friend h. and went to zebra for the piercing. at this time, i was on a piercing schedule of approximately every six months.* h. wandered around, m. held my hand. because i went during the week, i got the mean goth piercer lady, who gave me no warning before she jabbed the needle through my cartilage. it hurt, yes, but it was more shocking than anything else. that done, we stopped by the drug store (my previous place of employment, incidentally) so i could get some bactine and then went to a’s.

it was a gorgeous spring day. we sat inside and got ridiculously high. at 4:20, a general clamor could be heard outside, like it was midnight on new year’s eve. a. made each of us a joint for the road. k. and i smoked them as we walked home. no one stopped us. no one cared. it was a lovely end to a lovely day.

i still get high sometimes, but not like i did in those days. and i don’t really miss it, except for sometimes when i reflect on those perfect sunny afternoons when being high just gilds the whole world a little bit more, makes it seem like the world will never stop being as wonderful as it is in that moment.

by now you’re curious as to the point of all this. frankly, so am i. i was just walking from the file room to my desk, and i thought, “today is 4/20.” and i thought about how, at one time, that would have meant something to me. an excuse to blow off class and get high, or to throw a big party (2002; a most excellent party). 4/20 was a holiday. now it’s just another day. i’m at work. it’s raining. i’ll go home and read, and then i’ll go to target, and then i’ll watch some tv.

ten years is a long time. nostalgia is so easy: looking backwards, it’s so easy to see it all as one beautiful sunny afternoon, a time of fun and friends and little responsibility. it’s easy to compare it to today and see how the present just becomes a grey, dreary day full of grey, dreary duties. but that wouldn’t be the whole story, and it wouldn’t be true. i was as big a mess then as i am now, just in different ways. there were plenty of miserable days then, of just hanging on and hoping things would get better. and, despite my generally craptacular attitude, there are plenty of good days now.

in some ways, the hardest part of growing up is realizing we have to let go of who and what we were in the past, sometimes before we’re ready. i’m not 19 anymore, and i never will be again. i don’t really want to be (although i do sort of love the idea of being 22 again). the thing of it is, i’m not really sure i want to be 30 yet either. i’m not ready to grow older, but i don’t have a choice. the least i can do is age gracefully.

of course, having said all this, per a conversation i just had, i am so totally going to smoke a bowl before going to target tonight. aging gracefully doesn’t mean becoming boring.

*having just spent 10 minutes thinking about whether april 2000 really was when i got the industrial, i suddenly feel the burning need to track all of my piercings and tattoos while i still can. a follow up post, perhaps.


One comment

  1. That’s all the information i needed, I planned to have an industrial piercing one day, now i know what is Industrial Piercing all about.

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