Birthday-themed guided meditation. New shoes, broken toe. I will take the master bedroom. We all peer into the refrigerator and agree that it is expansive. We also all agree that Coke tastes best out of a glass bottle, and worst out of a plastic bottle. A can is in-between. This decision is reached unanimously, harmoniously, creating a kind of Coke garden among us. We sit in it and snort ketamine. I sit in it and tell everyone I am totally okay with no longer being in my twenties. I go upstairs into the bathroom and whisper into the mirror: oh my gosh.
In the bathroom it feels important to inventory the material and metaphysical things that anchor my self to a conventional life trajectory. I don’t know why but it just is. Creating self-inventory is subjective and thus flawed. I have fine lines under my eyes. I have covered the lines with concealer. I have synced my devices. I have four crystals with strong protective properties. I have learned to floss. The carpet of the bedroom is thick underfoot. It is because I am older that I notice such small details. I know I will notice the home decor choices of others for the rest of my life.
Maybe I want to have a baby. Maybe I want to grow the baby externally so that I can finish my novel while I have the baby. It would be impossible, now, on the eve of my thirtieth birthday, to both have the baby and finish the novel before I turn thirty. Definitely because I have taken ketamine and all my friends are here it will be more difficult than usual. Maybe I want to have the baby and finish the novel while I am on a cruise. I don’t have any money, but maybe I could get an advance for the novel very quickly, before tomorrow. Never say never! Nothing is impossible.
Life is so peppered with momentous occasions. I am half-naked and warming myself by a trash fire. I am bursting open with panic and happiness. The snacks on the table are all my favourite snacks. What if every moment was so momentous?
Everything I touch turns to … something secondhand. If I had the clothes from the internet I would accomplish exactly the same amount as I do now, but be prouder about it. If I had longer legs I could walk more quickly to my destinations. If I was less beautiful I would have to tell the truth more often. Everyone is wearing yoga pants and dancing to a playlist. Every tooth is gnashing with delight.
Yes, the earth has turned the requisite amount of times for me to become good and proper. The rules are: drink water often. Remember your keys. Read articles and books about old white men. Don’t order the house wine. Wear sunscreen and smile politely. The sun rises before I go to bed. I say: I will pay for this tomorrow. I joke about instalment plans. The clouds are millennial pink on my body, which is probably shining.
Emma Marie Jones is the author of Something To Be Tiptoed Around, a work of experimental memoir shortlisted for the Scribe Nonfiction Prize for Young Writers in 2015 and to be released by Grattan Street Press in 2018. She is a PhD candidate and teacher of Creative Writing at the University of Melbourne, and is currently working on her first novel.