Thursday, December 1, 2022

YOU’RE 20. PAINT

By Camille Ibarra

Flashback four years ago when you first cleared out your closet and arranged neatly into the box your shirts and hooded jackets, CD collections, old books and a few more tiny things, half of which misused and broken in their own ways. Isn’t it crazy how your life time of 16 years can easily fit into a few cardboard boxes piled in the backseat of a minivan and waiting to be shipped to some
dormitory two or three cities away? All 16 years of sunrise that flooded the porch with floating dusts along the blinding rays. Sixteen years of watching crappy telly with the family right after dinner, a bowl of nuts and chips on the center table. Sixteen years of lazy Sundays and busy Monday mornings, of holidays spent with relatives and annoying cousins you wished you weren’t related
to. You thought it would take a world, a universe even, to contain your lifetime’s worth of deeply beautiful, complex, life sculpting
experiences, but,surprisingly, a few damp cardboard boxes pretty much housed it all.
Flashback to when you stood in the middle of your empty room — the very room where you sulked when you got a beating, where you cried yourself to sleep because your favorite fictional character got killed in a fictional war, where the little black markings and halfway-ripped plastic tapes on the wall, the glow-in-the dark  solar system on the ceiling, and the white patches of hot milk spilt over the floorboards all have watched you grow.
And in every corner of the living room you saw yourself, five or six again, with a coconut haircut for which you had been known, desperately struggling to get away from your sister who liked playing the boogeyman. In the dining room was the round table with its chipped varnish coating over which you told your parents that “I want to be a painter, the greatest painter, when I grow up” and your daddy said “Well, honey, you better make up your mind. See, you can’t be both at once” and your mommy placed another batch of broccoli onto your plate.
Flashback eight years ago when your so-called best friend threw your  friendship bracelet into the river because “It’s just getting too tight and rusty, you know what I’m sayin’” and went on to get herself a new clique of Barbie dolls with micro-micro-miniskirts that
just about reflected the extent of their vocabulary, and apparently that was “cool”. Everything was a simple two-and- two-make-four back then, wasn’t it? When you could still afford to say things like “One day I’m gonna travel the world” and you got cheered on instead of laughed at, when you logged into your online accounts with a dreadfully tacky username like HeartlessPrincess143,
when your horrible phases in general now make you want to sit your old self down for a heart-to-heart talk. Back then, it was easy to believe anything. So you really believed, didn’t you? That one day you are going to prove everybody wrong.
You are going to ignite a revolution.
You are going to make a difference.
That one day, without any doubt at all, you are definitely, definitely going to be somebody important. Ah, to be that age again.

 

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