My 24th birthday is coming up
In my dream last night, I was sitting cross-legged on the floor of a hallway in my high school. A large group walked by—all twentysomethings—and I yelled,
“STOP! STOP! STOP! STOP!”
They stood still and stared at me. I was feeling overwhelmed and I had tried to stop time, but it wasn’t working. I told them nevermind and they kept going.
Two stragglers, a scrappy, nerdy dude and a nondescript young woman, stopped to talk to me.
It’s true that I’ve been feeling guilty about how I use my time. Between full-time work and 10 hours of schoolwork per week, I don’t have the time I’d like to work on fiction, plays, and essays. But then again, I feel some pressure to get going. How long can I retain the memories I most urgently want(ed) to write about—memories of childhood and adolescence? Maybe I am so changed by now, I should just let them go. It’s equally likely that I have some obligation to tell stories that are unlike others I’ve read.
“You can not write whatever you want to not write,” the young man said. That part, at least, was reassuring.