I turned 21 on the 27th of July and am hanging on slightly to that new research that suggested adolescence actually ends at 25. I woke up that morning feeling... not so good. It may have been because I've been sleeping upside down for the last month after breaking my bed, but I also tend to feel a little bit sick around my birthday. I don't know why. The days leading up to it, there is an overwhelming sense of pride and extreme self-love. I'm like: "yes. It's nearly my birthday. 27th July. Best date ever. Leos are the best. Lions are the best. Roar roar roar. I'm going to make myself a fucking crown out of gold card. I am a boss" etc etc. But the day itself always begins with an inward groan.
This one was no different. There was a violent knock on the door. A parcel. It took me a second to work out what it was. At first I think someone must have sent me a present. Then I realise it's my graduation photos. I open it. Have a quick look. Am nauseated by the size of my head and then I leave them scattered over my bed and pretend to go back to sleep. My mum comes in, says happy birthday and prays for me with her hand on my head.
I don't get washed and dressed until 2pm. I'm meeting a friend at 4.30pm to watch Dear White People. I've specifically chosen not to go to Hackney Picturehouse even though it's within walking distance for Reasons: 1. It's Hackney, if you get what I mean. 2. The film is called Dear White People, if you get what I mean. 3. I didn't want to get angry on my birthday, if you get what I mean. We go to Picturehouse Central instead. Fewer hipsters but still some shockingly inappropriate laughter. We discuss racism in the UK and America, gesticulating wildly and looking up in exasperation as we cross busy West End roads. Then we end up in front of the Cavalry Museum and sit for ages talking about LIFE, relationships, our younger selves, and rich people with stately homes they can't look after, until we get up and realise we're unable to walk. I get home and realise no one is awake. I cut a small slice of cake, use the bathroom, and get in bed. I look at my phone: it's after midnight. It's not my birthday any more. I groan inaudibly and go to sleep.